Charity to expand services with £150k grant 

A charity which supports vulnerable families in Warrington is expanding its service into two areas of Cheshire after receiving funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

Home-Start Warrington has stepped in to help families in Winsford and Northwich after being awarded £150,000 over three years.

It was partially prompted by the closure of Home-Start Cheshire, which left a shortfall in service provision to some vulnerable families.

Wirral-based Koala North West was previously awarded £150,000 by the Steve Morgan Foundation to provide a service in Chester, while Home-Start Warrington will do something similar in Winsford and Northwich.

The Warrington-based charity supports families with a child under five by offering parent volunteer support and group support.

CEO Ellie Harrison said: “There are a lot of reasons why a family might be struggling, including isolation, mental health or financial issues

“We’ve seen an increase in demand since the pandemic, especially around the mental health of the parents. In turn, this will have a negative impact on the child and the family

“We support over 100 families a year. As well as an indoor and outdoor playgroup we also provide a lot of emotional and practical support for our families.

“A lot of the parents we see have only recently moved into the area so isolation and loneliness can be a real problem.”

Harrison said the £150,000 from the Steve Morgan Foundation would enable them to start the new service in Winsford and Northwich in September.

“We couldn’t have done it without the support of the Steve Morgan Foundation,” she said.

“It will enable us to train parent volunteers to work with families in Winsford and Northwich for typically three hours a week.

“There’s a lot of concern at the moment about the cost of living crisis and rising energy prices so we know there’s a lot of families who need support.”

Home-Start Warrington is based in The Old School in Fairfield Street, and was founded in 1999.

Jane Harris, regional grants director at the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “When Home-Start Cheshire closed it was imperative that vulnerable families were still being supported. We’re sure the new service in Winsford and Northwich will be a lifeline to users.”

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