Grantham Home-Start joins protest at Lincolnshire County Council over funding

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After seeing their funding cut, the Grantham branch of a family support service is taking part in a protest at Lincolnshire County Council on Friday.

LCC’s decision to withdraw funding from the eight Home-Start schemes in Lincolnshire follows a £1.8 million reduction in the council’s budget for children’s services and public health this year.

Home-Start trains volunteers to visit families with young children who need extra support, particularly when faced with difficulties like isolation, bereavement, illness and disability.

Home-Start Grantham’s scheme manager Sarah High confirmed that as the funding cuts will hit their support of families in town, members of the local team will join representatives from the service’s other schemes in protest at LCC’s meeting on Friday.

“We were first told about the prospect of funding cuts back around October time, and since then there has been a consultation. Now we hear the cuts are still going ahead.

“We’ve got some funding for more rural projects around Grantham from the Big Lottery, but this will affect our services in Grantham and our home visits. At the moment we visit 37 families, and see many more through our support groups.

She added: “And to happen now when it’s Volunteers Week - we have a lot of hard-working volunteers who offer a fantastic service. The government says it is looking for a ‘big society’ with more volunteering, but this is going to have an impact on our volunteers.

“The support we provide is still needed by these families, and not having the service could result in them reaching crisis point, which will just put pressure on social services.”

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.”

In the meantime Home-Start are looking into other sources of funding, but are concerned that grants including that from the Big Lottery will now be at risk.

For more information contact Home-Start Grantham on 01476 515310 or visit www.homestartgrantham.org.uk