Gift to Home-Start South Downs means charity can continue

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A GIFT from a good Samaritan means a Wealden charity can continue its vital work.

Home-Start South Downs can now go on helping families and young children in North Wealden thanks to £50,000 given by someone who does not want to give their name.

The charity was due to wind up operations as funding had ceased.

Marion Lucken from Home Start said: “This surprise donation came just in time to prevent support being withdrawn from a number of families. Due to this incredibly generous donation we can continue for at least six more months while we seek long-term funding.”

Home-Start South Downs is a local charity that recruits and trains volunteers (who are parents themselves) to support families with at least one child under five, in their own homes through any difficulties they are experiencing such as isolation, post natal depression, illness, multiple birth or relationship breakdown.

So far they have supported 77 families with 162 children thanks to Big Lottery and Children’s Centre funding over the past three years.

“The money dried up on June 30 but the surprise donation came from someone who is familiar with the work of Home-Start.

Marion said: “It was so disappointing for all concerned that here we are, a local charity, delivering two of the Government’s key agendas, Big Society and Early Intervention, yet we weren’t able to secure funding to continue delivering this vital service to local families.

“We have 24 enthusiastic, trained volunteers ready and willing to give their time for free to help parents who are struggling for whatever reason.”