HPC community funding supports young families in Somerset
Home-Start West Somerset is making a difference to young families in Somerset and one of a growing number of organisations benefitting from the Hinkley Point C (HPC) Community Fund, administered by Somerset Community Foundation (SCF).
Children whose parents struggle to cope with problems such as illness, disability, poor mental health, poverty, homelessness and domestic violence, can often miss out on the support that is so vital for their future. There is now an overwhelming body of evidence that a nurturing, stable family and home environment strongly influences a child’s future life chances.
Home-Start West Somerset supports families that have complex and long-term needs in the Sedgemoor and West Somerset area. In 2018 they were awarded a grant of £142,000 from the Hinkley Point C Community Fund to deliver a three-year programme of activities and support for young families in Williton, Watchet and Stogursey and the surrounding areas. The project, which is for families who are both new to the area and already established, is particularly important in bringing young families and communities together: Home-Start West Somerset report 42% of children who are new to their family caseload are from families coming into the area.
Clare Pound, Manager of Home-Start West Somerset said: “From our perspective families see the Hinkley Point C developments as a positive thing. Bringing employment and new families to the area stimulates change and generates finance, strengthening family units and local communities. We support parents as they grow in confidence, reinforcing their relationships with their children and widening their links within the community. We work closely with agencies such as health professionals, children’s centres, social workers, pre-schools, police, housing officers, drug counsellors and more, to provide a joined-up service for families.
“A particularly successful part of our funded project has been Story-Start, a group which provides an opportunity for parents and children to come together and enjoy stories and other activities. During the first year of the project, 85 parents and children engaged with just two Story-Start groups. And with the number of groups set to more than double in 2020 this is becoming an important activity for families in this area of West Somerset.”
Since its launch in November 2017 the HPC Community Fund, which supports community projects and initiatives that help mitigate the impacts and increase the opportunities arising from the construction of the new power station, has so far awarded over £2.5 million in grants.
Over £280,000 of grant funding was awarded to three community groups in the latest round of the Fund’s Open Grants (for major grants of up to £50,000 and over £50,000):
Mind in Somerset: Awarded £94,359 over three years to fund a full-time post working with people in Bridgwater and the West Somerset area who are struggling with mental wellbeing and/or health issues.
Sedgemoor District Council’s ‘Under Construction’: Awarded £126,000 over three years to fund the 100 Women First project, working with women in the Sedgemoor community who are looking for work or returning to the workplace, increasing their skills, confidence and resilience.
Bridgwater & Taunton College: Awarded £60,000 over three years to fund South Bristol Youth to support Year 9 students in four Bridgwater secondary schools to develop confidence and work skills, and awareness of apprenticeships as a future career path.
The Hinkley Point C Community Fund is part of a wider £20 million commitment of funding, provided by EDF Energy through Section 106 agreements, for communities that are affected by the development of the new nuclear power station, to promote their social, economic and environmental wellbeing and enhance their quality of life.
If you would like to find out more about grant funding from the HPC Community Fund, click here.
The next HPC Community Fund Open Grants deadline (for major grants of up to £50,000 and over £50,000) is Friday 3 January, 2020 and Friday 1 April. The next Small Grants deadline (for grants of up to £5,000) is Friday 17 January, 2020.