One in a Million: Annie Ives, Home-Start Southport & Formby

Annie Ives is one in a million.

She’s the manager of Home-Start Southport & Formby, which is one of more than 400 charities and organisations to receive a grant from Steve Morgan Foundation Covid-19 Emergency Fund.

The Fund has helped one than one million people across Merseyside, North Wales and Cheshire and awarded Home-Start £5,000. Here’s Annie’s story.

Annie Ives said Covid-19 has exacerbated the feelings of isolation and loneliness that many of their families feel.

Before the pandemic the Southport and Formby branch of the charity visited families at home to give them support each week and ran sessions for the most isolated people.

“All this changed with Covid-19,” recalled Annie, “so we found new ways to connect to families.

“We started to do weekly deliveries of fresh fruit, vegetables and meat, as well as clothes and activity packs. We help around 70 families a week and have a little chat on the doorstep while adhering to the social-distancing.

“It’s about bringing a bit of joy and sunshine into people’s lives.  Thanks to the £5,000 grant from the Steve Morgan Foundation we’ve been able to do to carry on doing that throughout Covid-19.”

Donna is one of the people helped by Home-Start Southport & Formby and said the weekly food parcels have changed their lives.

“My children both suffer from a genetic condition and as part of that have respiratory and heart complications so we have been staying home and avoiding enclosed spaces like shops and things,” she said.

“I was unable to get delivery spaces as well and so without Home-Start I would have been really stuck. Home-Start have also very kindly been to the food bank for me a few times as I couldn’t manage to get there with being a single parent and I have really appreciated the help.

“As a single parent who normally works, financially lockdown has been difficult as I’m only receiving 80 per cent of my normal wage which is normally a struggle to live on anyway, never mind with 20 per cent less and the children off school full time and needing to be  fed at every meal. 

“Without Home-Start I’m not sure I would have managed and I’m so grateful.” 

Annie said Covid-19 has worsened a lot of people’s mental health.

“The pandemic has caused an increase in reports of depression and anxiety,” she warned. “A lot of the families we see are scared about leaving their home. Some people have spoken of suicidal thoughts and that’s the worst part.”

Since 2013 the Steve Morgan Foundation has given Home-Start Southport & Formby £97,500.

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