Over the last couple of years, we have all had to deal with a lot of change, anxiety and the unknown as we have navigated the changing waters of covid 19. Everyone has been impacted, from the lockdown babies to our oldest generation. We have experienced challenges that we couldn’t have predicted and often felt like we had no resolution other than acceptance and to keep moving forward in any way possible.
For families with young children, it has been a really difficult time. Parents had to juggle homeschooling, working themselves, trying to occupy bored children who can’t see their friends or family, finding space at home for everyone, finding technical equipment at home for everyone, relationship strains, financial difficulties, loneliness and isolation – the list is endless. And this kind of pressure has an impact on parents, children and families as a whole. So it’s not surprising that we have seen a big increase in demand for Home-Start’s services. Based on last year’s figures, our referral rate has jumped up more than 125%, a telling statistic in a world that still seems uncertain in so many respects. Now we are seeing more families struggling with finances linked to rising fuel and living costs, bringing added pressures to already often tired and fraught circumstances.
HSRBSC is a self-funding charity responsible for independently raising all income required to keep our scheme going. A tall order in a changing fundraising climate such as the one we currently find ourselves in. And although the support we provide to families takes place through our trained volunteers, who generously give their time for free, costs for things which includes training, employing staff to manage our volunteers, volunteer expenses, having an office space, running our Family Support Groups, administration, IT and many other aspects quickly mount up.
So we are super excited to be part of the next round of Tesco Community Grants. Being accepted into this grant programme means that we will now be one of three charities that shoppers can vote for, using a blue token, each time they shop in Tesco Extra and Tesco Express in Royston. The voting period begins on the 1st of April and runs through until the end of June this year. Voting will take place over this period, and the winning charity will receive up to £1,500. There will be second and third place funding awards of £1,000 and £500, respectively.
Any funding that we receive through the Tesco Community Grant scheme will go towards supporting a local family with a home-visiting volunteer. We understand the value of the relational, compassionate support that volunteers bring to families. Standing alongside a family on a weekly basis providing encouragement, friendship and signposts contribute hugely towards them developing the strength and self-esteem necessary to manage independently of our support, with the confidence to access other support services as and when necessary.
Tesco Community Grants support thousands of local community projects and good causes across the UK.
So we would like to say a big thank you to Tesco Community Grants for accepting us onto the grant programme. And, a big please to all our local supporters who might be in Royston shopping at Tesco Extra or Tesco Express over the next three months. We will use our social media to keep reminding people about this opportunity and ask our supporters to share the news with anyone who might be local enough to shop at Tesco Extra/Express in Royston over this period of time. And we will look forward to sharing our funding news with you at the end of June to celebrate how well we have done, so watch this space!