BBC Children in Need is back again this evening (Friday 15th November) for its 39th year of helping children and their families by supporting over 3,000 local charities and projects in communities across the United Kingdom.

Every year many local Home-Starts across the UK receive grants from BBC Children in Need to run projects in their communities working with thousands of children.

BBC Children in Need receive thousands of applications for grants every year, applications are carefully assessed to ensure that the funding will make a real difference to children and young people facing a range of disadvantages. Organisations applying for funding, such as local Home-Starts, must clearly demonstrate how their project will change the lives of those aged 18 and under for the better.

One local Home-Start to have been awarded a grant is Home-Start Kirkcaldy who received £18,582 to fund their Family Support Group for three years.

The group was set up in response to an increase in referrals for families who were struggling to attend traditional parent and children groups for a variety of reasons - lack of confidence, poor mental health, financial concerns, worries about their child’s behaviour and how that will be perceived.

The focus is on providing a space for parents to have fun with their children, try out new (and usually messy!) activities whilst meeting other families who are experiencing various situations. By building up their confidence in the family group, Home-Start Kirkcaldy hopes that families will feel more able to go along to other things happening locally.

Over the last two years, Home-Start Erewash has received £19,393 to provide family support time and more intensive support with families where a parent’s mental health was impacting on their child’s development to reach their full potential.

“We supported parents to improve home conditions, several families were without beds for the children who were sleeping on dirty mattresses. We were able to help them provide a safe homely environment for their children. We [also] supported parents to attend groups so they and the children were able to socialise and feel connected to the community.

The support Home-Start Erewash have been providing echo’s Home-Start #RealLifeParenting, “we have modelled ‘good enough’ parenting and help to reduce the everyday pressures on parents and allow them to spend time with their children” explains Bren Butler, Scheme Manager.

Finally, Home-Start Arun, Worthing and Adur recently announced that they too have been awarded funding by BBC Children in Need for a Family Group to support local families for a year, starting in January 2020. Manager, Bridget Richardson said; "We are delighted that we can expand the number of Groups to four across the area and support more families”.

If you would like to make a difference in a child’s life in a home near you, you can do so by registering your interest to volunteer, here.

Pictured are Home-Start Arun, Worthing and Adur's Emma Johnson, Family Groups Organiser, Bridget Richardson, Manager, along with Frank, Pudsey's Cousin!