A Fylde charity for needy families is set to expand into Blackpool after celebrating a six-figure National Lottery cash boost.
Two years after the organisation lost out on lottery funding, St Annes-based Home-Start Blackpool and Fylde has been awarded £490,300 from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund.
The money – set to be paid out over the next five years – will secure the future of Home-Start’s services and allow it to expand into Blackpool.
The charity, which provides a wide variety of family support services dealing with poverty, debt, poor housing, parental skills and family breakdown, was set up in St Annes in 2008 and has since looked after the needs of hundreds of parents and children across Fylde.
Two years ago, the public and local businesses rallied round with financial support after the organisation, then named Home-Start Fylde, was turned down for Lottery funding.
At its annual meeting last year, officials announced it was aiming to expand into Blackpool as it prepared another bid for the vital Big Lottery funding.
The charity’s senior co-ordinator Pat Naylor said: “There is a great need for our services.
“This money will allow us to expand (into Blackpool) as well as sustaining our service to Fylde families.”
Lesley Doyle, chairman of the charity, said: “We are delighted. There has been a lot of hard work to get to this stage. We are excited about the expansion into Blackpool but so many Fylde families depend on us as they will also assure the services to them.
“Need isn’t just about geography and we are so pleased that this application has been successful.”
The organisation aims to be advertising for new co-ordinators in the near future.
Pat added: “This funding is vital in developing our service in Blackpool and will contribute to sustaining the service in the Fylde.
“It will enable us to ensure more local families receive the confidential, non-judgemental support and befriending that is the whole ethos of Home-Start. Many parents have stated that Home-Start has been a lifeline to them, and that they wish they had accepted support earlier.
“The funding will bring new opportunities and we always welcome applications from people with parenting experience to become home-visiting volunteers.”
Fylde MP Mark Menzies, a patron of Home-Start, said: “I am delighted Home-Start has been awarded this money to continue the excellent support it gives to needy families across Fylde and Blackpool.
“As a patron, I have supported the organisation with a number of funding bids over the years and am so pleased it has finally received a sum which will secure its future for years to come.
“Home-Start provides vital assistance and support for families who would be struggling to cope without the advice and guidance they receive from the charity.
“It is really worthwhile work and with this money the volunteers will be able to make concrete plans to run the service with the security of knowing they have the funding in place to continue for the next five years.
“The fact that the vice chairman, Kath Asquith, was highly commended by judges in my recent Fylde Woman of the Year competition proves the high regard with which the charity’s work is held locally.”