This article appears in today's Leicester Mercury:
|Fiona Kinsey, resource centre manager for Network for Change|
Groups awarded lottery funding
by Cathy Buss
Two groups, one which helps families and the other which helps people with mental health problems, have won more than £500,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.
Home-Start Leicester has been awarded £334,370 from the lottery's reaching communities programme.
The group will use the money to train new volunteers to help support families under stress.
Helen Everett, chairman of the trustees of Home-Start Leicester, said: "It is fantastic news. It means we can continue our much-needed support to families in the city and recruit more volunteers and staff. This will secure the future of the service to children and families for the next four years."
Volunteers from the organisation, which has been running in the city for 40 years, visit a family's home once a week to offer support.
They can help with stimulating play activities for children, parenting strategies and accessing services.
Lottery cash will go towards new projects to increase parents' confidence, encourage children's emotional and social readiness for school and promote healthy lifestyles.
Home-Start Leicester has 28 home-visiting volunteers and in the past year supported 71 families.
It has just two members of staff but two more full-time posts will be created.
The city-based Network for Change organisation has been awarded £244,184 from the lottery's reaching communities programme.
It can now expand its work with adults with severe and complex mental health problems.
Gabby Briner, chief executive at Network for Change, said: "There are a high number of people in Leicester with severe and complex mental health issues who are often socially isolated and struggle to access support to keep well, prevent crisis and cope with life.
"Our Mind The Gap project will provide an exciting programme of individual and peer support, plus therapeutic, social and coping strategies, groups and activities."
Fiona Kinsey, resource centre manager for Network for Change, said: "This lottery funding will make a huge difference to us."