Home-Start Fareham and Gosport saved from closure by £300,000 grant

From left, ''Gemma Maidment, Kerry Hookway, Christine Roach, Amanda Goddard, Clare Storey, Carol Dyer, Jenny Paterson, Debbie Freemantle and Louise Wheeldon of Home-Start Fareham and Gosport ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (151551-477)
From left, ''Gemma Maidment, Kerry Hookway, Christine Roach, Amanda Goddard, Clare Storey, Carol Dyer, Jenny Paterson, Debbie Freemantle and Louise Wheeldon of Home-Start Fareham and Gosport ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (151551-477)

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  • Home-Start Fareham and Gosport has received £305,000 in funding from National Lottery
  • The service, with helps parents with isolation or domestic abuse victims, had faced possible closure
  • Thanks to the grant, it should be secure for the next three years
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A CHARITY has been given a lifeline after receiving £300,000 in funding.

Home-Start Fareham and Gosport had faced potential closure after a third of its yearly income was cut.

It is fantastic and we are really happy.

Louise Wheeldon

But thanks to National Lottery, the future of the organisation, which helps parents with young children get through issues such as isolation, mental health problems or domestic abuse, is secure.

It received £305,357 as part of £2m handed to organisations by the lottery.

Louise Wheeldon, senior co-ordinator of the organisation, said: ‘It is fantastic and we are really happy. It will make a huge difference.

‘We were getting to the stage where we might have had to close early next year.

‘But with this money, we are now secure for the next three years.

‘This is the difference between us staying open and the charity possibly closing.’

As previously reported in The News, families using the service were left worried they might lose the help they need.

It came as Hampshire County Council stopped the £40,000 a year it gave to Home-Start in Salterns Lane, Fareham.

Without the money, it had to find alternative funding and it was a race against time.

The charity warned that if cash was not found, it would have to go into its reserves, which would last about six months.

As well as funding, a call was made for volunteers as Home-Start was determined to carry on helping the families even with a tight budget.

But thanks to the £305,000 it should be able to double the number of volunteers.

Currently, Home-Start has 35 volunteers who help around 30 parents but more families are waiting.

Louise added: ‘The more volunteers we have, the more parents we can help with is great.’

Home-Start Fareham and Gosport is not the only branch in the area to have had help from the National Lottery.

The Havant organisation received a grant of £181,000 in February to spread over five years after it too had financially difficulty after having funding cut by the county council.