Positive Change

A charity from Knowsley which supports families with young children has highlighted the impact of a grant from the Steve Morgan Foundation as playing a key role on keeping them going.

Home Start Knowsley are two years through a three-year award of £75,000 towards staffing costs which has helped the charity continue to provide a range of services for people from the local community.

Staff and volunteers have helped bring about life-long positive change for families with young children who have been struggling, including providing individual support plans for parents.

Issues which the team address on a regular basis can involve domestic violence, alcohol/substance misuse, debt and financial mis-management, housing issues, benefit reviews, relationship breakdowns, child or adult health problems, poor parenting, behaviour management and much more.

The charity will support people to help them improve their coping skills to prevent crises, and encourage them to develop hopes and aspirations for their own – and their children’s – future progression.

This is achieved through a wide variety of different projects including a Great 2 B Me course helping mums prepare for life with a baby, Holiday Hunger providing breakfasts, healthy snacks and cooking advice and the ‘Big Hopes Big Futures’ School Readiness Course which is designed to make the transition to school for children a smooth and happy experience.

Scheme Manager Pam Bowes says:  “Our whole team are proud of the outcomes that have been achieved this year and funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation has filled a significant shortfall in salaries for 2 key members of staff – the Scheme Manager, and the Finance/Admin Officer. 

“This has ensured the team has continuous, strong leadership from an experienced manager who gives clear direction to bring about the aims and objectives outlined in Home-Start Knowsley’s Strategic Plan. 

“Home-Start’s trustees have encouraged the development of a more targeted approach in addition to the usual core offer of volunteer home-visiting support and the Manager has worked diligently to secure funding independently and as part of Home-Start Merseyside Consortium to bring about this change. 

“Staff have also been encouraged to take up additional training opportunities to enhance their professional development and bring expertise to their role. 

“We now have specialism to support low level mental ill-health, reduce isolation, support for families with a child with additional needs and/or disabilities, breastfeeding support, and mindfulness.  

“It is envisaged these additional skills and the evidence of successful outcomes the projects have achieved will make us attractive to funders and ensure future sustainability.”

Well over 1,000 children under the age of 12 have been supported by Home Start Knowsley during the two years of the grant so far, as well as over 1,000 adult family members as well.

All of this is achieved both by visiting families in their homes or from the charity’s base in Huyton,  a former residential home with well-equipped facilities and an accessible garden.

“Funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation has probably kept us alive,” added Pam.

“As a small charity, it’s increasingly more difficult to secure funding, especially core funding, and we consider ourselves very lucky to have this on-going support and appreciate that the Foundation has confidence that every penny is well spent and is making a significant difference to the lives of vulnerable people we support.

“We know we can bring about positive change, especially if we can intervene early enough to instigate the right support at the right time and prevent escalation of difficulties and crisis further down the line. 

“This core funding has allowed us to utilise funding to cover the shortfall where it was needed and kept our effective team together to do what we do best.”

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