In 2013 everyone at Home-Start Reading was thrilled with the news that the charity had won a five year grant from the Big Lottery Fund to support the home-visiting side of the charity.

Jill Lake, Chairperson, said, “We are pleased that the Big Lottery Fund has shown such confidence in the work of Home-Start Reading. This award will enable us to expand our support of families with young children who are finding life and parenting particularly tough.  Our dedicated band of trained parent volunteers already give more than 7,000 hours of their time each year.  They can be a “lifeline” to parents who may be struggling with physical or mental health problems, isolation and poverty.  The award will enable us to train more volunteers and therefore help more children in Reading to have a safe and happy childhood.

Home-Start Reading believes that parents hold the key to their children’s future.  Its volunteers visit families at home and work alongside parents who are struggling with complex challenges.  It helps families beat the odds and enable their children to reach their full potential.  Families consistently report that between 92-95% of their needs have been met or partly met through the service.

Jackie Oversby, trustee, said, “This grant, which is about a third of Home-Start Reading’s budget, has given a real boost to the charity which less than two years ago faced closure.  We hope that we will be able to attract other awards and donations so that we can increase the number of families that we are able to help.”

The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.  The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK.