DCSIMG

Council axes funding for High Peak charity

Home -Start volunteer Marie Oddy at the mulitiple births group which meets at Harpur Hill Childrens Centre. With Kerrie Kerr and her twins Rohan and Laynie

Home -Start volunteer Marie Oddy at the mulitiple births group which meets at Harpur Hill Childrens Centre. With Kerrie Kerr and her twins Rohan and Laynie

A High Peak charity has had its funding withdrawn, as part of Derbyshire County Council’s plans to save £157 million.

Last Tuesday, the cabinet decided not to renew its contract with Home-Start, which was due to end in March, but to extend it by four months to give the charity extra time to complete its work.

At present, Home-Start High Peak receives £55,000 of funding from the council, which makes up 62 per cent of its total capital. The remaining money is provided by the Big Lottery Fund.

Anthea Smith, of Home-Start High Peak, said: “Here in High Peak, 55 families are currently receiving support courtesy of the funding we receive from Derbyshire County Council.

“As far as they are concerned, it’s business as usual. We will continue helping them until they no longer need the support from our volunteers or every last drop of the funding runs out.

“Of course we are also supporting other families courtesy of ring-fenced budgets like the one we have been given to help families in Gamesley, New Mills and Buxton.

“One thing is for certain Home-Start High Peak’s help has never been more in need and we will now be focusing on looking for other sources of funding. We need to raise enough money to support the desperately isolated families in High Peak.”

Since the Buxton-based charity was set up in 2004, it has received 600 referrals.

Cllr Kevin Gillott, the council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said he was “disappointed” he had been put in this position but said families would still be able to get the help they need.

He said: “The cuts have meant we are having to reduce our services for families in these four areas. But with every penny having to be scrutinised, we have had to look at everything we do and how we deliver it.

“Our children’s centres offer a great deal of support to families, both in centres and through outreach work in homes, and since the initial contract with Home-Start started five years ago, our network has grown.

“The work we do from children’s centres has also expanded.”

He added: “HomeStart has done excellent work in the county and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all the hard work they’ve done with us.

“They have shown a great deal of commitment to local families and I am sorry we have found ourselves forced into this situation.”

If you or your company is interested in helping to fund Home-Start High Peak, contact Anthea on 01298 72777.

 

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