Lincolnshire family support charity at risk from council cuts

Staff, supporters and volunteers with Home-Start South Holland.   Photo by Tim Wilson.
Staff, supporters and volunteers with Home-Start South Holland. Photo by Tim Wilson.
  • Protest planned against cuts in funding for volunteer-based service
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The future of a volunteer-based charity for families with young children Lincolnshire is in doubt because of a £1.8 million cut in council funds.

Home-Start, which operates eight schemes across the county, is planning a protest at a meeting of Lincolnshire County Council’s meeting on Friday against seeing their funding cut by up to 100 per cent.

To cut all of our funding like this means that some schemes may not survive for long enough to secure their future,

Ericka Moon, Home-Start South Holland

The group, made up of eight local Home-Start Schemes whose volunteers provide practical help and support to parents with isolation, bereavement, illness and disability issues, has said the loss of council funding may see many of its groups forced to close.

About 560 vulnerable families in areas such as Boston, Louth, Sleaford and South Holland, would have to look for alternative funding or get rid of about 500 volunteers.

Ericka Moon from Home-Start South Holland said: “We understand that these are challenging times and that all local authorities are having to make tough decisions that affect people’s lives.

“As a group of small charities, we are working hard to find other, sustainable funding and to look at how we can provide the best value services.

“But to cut all of our funding like this means that some schemes may not survive for long enough to secure their future, with effective early intervention having been shown to save money in the long run.”

Lincolnshire County Council is having to find £120 million worth of savings over the next three years, with its budget for children’s services and public health dropping by £1.8 million this year from £6.7 million in 2014/15 to £4.9 million this year.

At the time of the cuts being announced, Coun Patricia Bradwell, executive member for adult care, health and children’s services, said: “Despite having to make financial savings, we have been careful to mitigate the impact to those who use the services so that people can be nearer to their friends, families and communities where they live.”