Extra support on offer for families struggling in Portsmouth

ALL SMILES Rachel Warshop, Zoe Gray, Claudia Villar, James Hill and Lynne Davies. Launch of Families Moving Forward at Friendship Centre, Southsea
ALL SMILES Rachel Warshop, Zoe Gray, Claudia Villar, James Hill and Lynne Davies. Launch of Families Moving Forward at Friendship Centre, Southsea

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PEOPLE will be helped to set their own household budgets as part of a £900,000 project to support struggling families.

Led by registered-charity Learning Links (Southern), the Families Moving Forward project was launched last week.

It will help 260 families after it was awarded £899,989 from the Big Lottery Fund.

It’s part of a nationwide scheme that supports families with multiple and complex problems.

It will see local voluntary sector organisations working with public services including Learning Links, Portsmouth City Council, Portsmouth CAB, Relate, Homestart Portsmouth and YOU Trust.

Julian Wooster, director of children’s services at Portsmouth City Council said it will be a huge help to people across the city.

‘It’s of great credit to the vibrant voluntary sector in Portsmouth that the partners have brought the funding into the city,’ he said.

‘It’s a service which will add value to our community, and provide vital help to those who need it.’

A dedicated family worker will help families to identify and prioritise their needs and will offer support to address problems and work towards their own long-term goals.

One aspect of the project is the introduction of a family budget.

Support workers will work with families to devise an agreed action plan.

This could include debt and housing advice and behaviour change support.

Families will also receive a range of information and advice about training and employment, including return to work preparation.

Learning Links CEO Zoe Gray said: ‘We’re pleased that our service is now working with families, after more than two years of planning.

‘It’s great that this voluntary sector-led service contributes to the overall city strategy for supporting families facing challenges.

‘We’re confident that Families Moving Forward will equip families with the skills, motivation and confidence to develop and achieve their goals and to deal with any future setbacks themselves.

‘This will reduce the likelihood of issues escalating and causing disruption to family life, and will result in improved and measurable outcomes for children.’