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Harborough Home Start - Family Support

We are requesting funding for the costs of running our Family Support Group in Market Harborough. This group is a specialist support group for approximately 20 parents of at least one child under 5 years who are struggling in their parenting role for a number of reasons, from disabilities, financial stress, housing problems, mental illness, learning disabilities or difficulties managing the behaviour or development needs of their child.
The group offers both parents and their children a safe space to play together, through supported play activities, stories, and songs.
Parents are referred to the group from Health Visitors, Children's Centre Outreach Workers, and other professionals involved with families from the earliest stages.
The group meets once a fortnight at The Children's Centre in Market Harborough for a 1.5 hour session where families can gain advice and support from Home-Start staff and volunteers, where children can play, and parents can develop positive relationships with their children, as well as gaining peer support from other parents attending. Additionally, other agencies attend the group to offer parents access to further opportunities, from Adult Learning opportunities, or debt advice etc.

This service meets the criteria of the Leicestershire Sustainable Community Strategy in the following ways:
Supporting Individuals and Families - Family breakdown is averted by the support parents receive in the group.
Enhancing Children's Lives - children benefit from the supportive play environment and the increased positive interaction with their parents.
Improving our Communities - Families attending improve their self esteem and confidence in their parenting roles, leading to their ability to consider other ways in which they contribute to the local community, whether through improving skills, volunteering, or positively engaging with their families in community activities.

Our charity has been running the group for a number of years and the demand on places has always been high. We recognise that for some families, additional support is needed beyond that offered through a regular parent and toddler group. For families experiencing a range of problems, the situation can worsen and become more difficult to resolve once the child reaches school age.
Our key partners include the Health Visitors, social services, and the Children's Centre Outreach workers, who continue to refer families to the group.
The group reflects the Every Child Matters agenda which is enshrined in the Children's Act 2004, and the Leicestershire Children and Young People's Plan. The group also relates to the Government's Think Family agenda which recognises the holistic approach needed when supporting children within families.

Children attending the group may be referred because of one or more issues relating to poor child development, behavioural problems, or concerns about management of behaviour from parents. They could have issues directly relating to a disability, illness or condition such as epilepsy or autistic spectrum disorder.
Parents are additionally supported through the group. They may be stuggling with a range of issues such as low confidence and self esteem, especially in relation to the parenting role, learning disabilities, illness or physical disability, mental health difficulties, or financial/housing stress to name a few.

We will continue to seek funding for this group into the future. We have benefitted enormously by the part funding from Children in Need this year, and until 2014. We have a regular system of sending applications for funding to a variety of Trusts and Foundations to secure the remaining funding for the group.

Total 6 months costs - Jan to June 2012
Training - £150
Family Travel - £200
Staff Travel - £100
Refreshments - £100
Craft Consumables - £100
Insurance/PLA membership - £ 20
Capital Toys/Equipment - £200
Management Charge@10% - £322
Cont. to Home-Start UK @2% - £ 71
Total 6 months Costs - £1,263

Staff Costs - £2,347 - not being requested
Total Project Cost £3,610


BBC Children In Need grant - 3 years part costs from 2011-2014
= £2,347 for 6 months of Market Harborough group

Applications being submitted to a variety of Trusts and Foundations.

2 Volunteers support the Market Harborough Family Support Group for 2 hrs each per fortnight = 48 hours for 6 months.


What projects are eligible?

Community Forum Budget funding can be used to support a wide range of new and existing projects and activities – the key test is that supported projects and activities will need to show that they are appropriate, feasible and sustainable.

To be appropriate, projects and activities should:

  • Provide value for money.
  • Be led by an eligible group or organisation (see below).
  • Link to one or more of the six priorities of the Leicestershire Sustainable Community Strategy. These priorities are:
  1. Supporting individuals and families
  2. Delivering effective services
  3. Protecting our environment
  4. Improving our communities
  5. Enhancing children’s lives
  6. Developing our economy

To be feasible projects and activities should:

  • Be able to spend the funding applied for between January 2012 and 30 June 2012.
  • Fulfill all legal requirements and have obtained the consents necessary to deliver the project or activity. These requirements and consents may include planning permission, consent from landowner(s), statutory undertakers and the Highway Authority and regulations relating to health and safety, protection of vulnerable people, wildlife etc.

To be sustainable, projects and activities should:

  • Provide some lasting or longer term benefits for the community forum area.
  • Ongoing projects should be capable of continuing without reliance on further public funding.