Home-Start network receives almost £900k development boost from the National Lottery Home-Start, the leading national group of family support charities, will use £897,000 of National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund to create a more efficient and collaborative network that supports thousands more families across the UK. The three-year grant will support Home-Starts to work collaboratively, through mergers and consortia, and help them develop new ways of securing funding and investment for their life-changing work with parents and children. Home-Start provides leading volunteer-led home-visiting support for almost 30,000 families and 60,000 children from all backgrounds across the UK, and facing a huge range of challenges, including isolation, mental and physical ill-health, bereavement, addiction and financial hardship. The number of families Home-Start supports is set to increase over the next three years. The National Lottery funding will be matched by an investment of £597,000 from Home-Start UK to develop the leadership of local Home-Starts, ensure they have the skills and experience to manage growth over the next three years, and to help them access high quality and bespoke support to develop the best model of working in their community. Finally, the best practice developed throughout this programme will be shared with other federated organisations across the charity sector, ensuring the widest possible benefits from the grant. Rob Parkinson, chief executive of Home-Start UK said: “Home-Start’s work has never been more necessary, and our ambition is to build a modern and effective network which can help every family in need create a better future. We believe the best way to achieve this in a lasting way is a consolidation of the 260-strong federation into fewer, bigger and more sustainable Home-Starts. “Home-Start’s history is built on its community-focused approach to the support we provide, and this funding will be used to create a range of community-based solutions to ensure that we consolidate Home-Start activity across larger geographical areas without ever compromising our ethos, volunteer recruitment and our highly local approach to supporting families.” Joe Ferns, UK knowledge and portfolio director at the Big Lottery Fund said: “Home-Start plays an important role in supporting thousands of families across the UK. This new National Lottery funding will bring together local schemes to share knowledge and skills, building a more sustainable network and reaching the people and communities that can benefit most.” Home-Start delivers highly successful outcomes for the families and children they work with. Independent research has shown that families supported by Home-Start see a lasting benefit, and Home-Start’s latest impact report shows that 94% of parents at the end of their support said they felt less isolated, 94% reported improved self-esteem and 96% said their children’s emotional health had improved.