Family helpers get the grants to keep going
A charity which supports families in difficulty is celebrating securing the funding to keep going.
Staff at Home-Start faced an uncertain future after being told last summer the annual £105,000 grant from the city council was being withdrawn.
However, the charity has secured £55,000 which will enable workers to carry on its good work for the next two years.
The news comes as Home-Start prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
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Manager Elaine Murphy said: "We're delighted. It's been a really difficult few months and this comes as a huge relief.
"Everyone has worked incredibly hard to find alternative sources of funding and we can only hope we find more over the next few years to secure our long-term future."
The cash has come from the Lloyds TSB Foundation, Henry Smith Charitable Trust and the Tudor Trust.
Elaine said: "Sadly, we still have to restructure as the funding will not provide the full £105,000 we previously received from the council.
"We are losing two of our five full-time staff, which, in the short-term, means we'll be working with fewer families at a time when many of them need us most."
One Leicester mum, who did not want to be named, was referred to Home-Start by social services.
She said it was a blessing funding had been secured.
"I had a violent partner and my children and I were living in constant fear," she said.
"My children and I weren't really communicating and I was frightened to let them out of my sight.
"We weren't really living, we were just existing. But my support worker from Home Start was a shoulder to lean on.
"He was someone I could talk to and get advice from. Gradually, I've been able to let go a bit more and there's nothing better than seeing all my children sat around me on a Saturday morning, chattering away.
"My family would still be broken if it wasn't for Home-Start."
Leicester West MP Liz Kendall is a patron of Home-Start.
She said: "It's vital children get the support they need during the first years of life as this makes a huge difference to their prospects later on.
"That's why I'm proud to be patron of Home-Start. It does an incredible job supporting some of our poorest families.
"The withdrawal of Home-Start's funding came as a devastating blow.
"I'm delighted Home-Start's sheer determination not to close has paid off.
"I'll continue to do all I can to help Home Start and am looking forward to the 40th anniversary celebrations next month."