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Lottery Grant Saves Charity
03 Jan 2007

Almost 300,000 of lottery cash has saved a charity from the "knife edge" of closure.

Home-Start Pendle, which provides support for families with young children, has been granted 297,819 from the Big Lottery Fund.

Joan Hawkins, chairman of Home-start Pendle which is based at Waterbridge Resource Centre in Colne, said: "It is very good news which came at a time when we desperately needed it.

"Our senior organiser left in May, and since then our two other part-time staff have been working extremely hard to keep things going, and co-ordinate our volunteers, who also do wonderful work.

"By the time this grant came through, almost all our other sources of funding had stopped and we were thinking we would have to close. It was on a knife edge, so it was a huge relief."

The money will pay for the charity's running costs, largely wages, over the next five years.

Home-Start Pendle, which is now in its sixth year, has 22 volunteers who help families with children under five by visiting them in their own homes every week to offer support, friendship and practical assistance.

Joan said: "The numbers of families who benefit from our support shows that we are providing a much-needed service, particularly because we cater for the whole of Pendle. It is not based on a postcode.

"This grant will secure the future for the next five years, but we still have a shortfall of 23,000 and we need to look elsewhere for funds so we can make sure we don't face closure again."

The charity, whose new patron is Pendle councillor Pauline McCormick, is currently advertising for a new full-time senior organiser to help co-ordinate its volunteers, and find funding.

The 1.9m award by the Big Lottery Fund in the North West was released as part of its Reaching Communities programme, which saw 100million given out in grants of up to 500,000 to projects that offer people better chances in life and build strong communities.

In East Lancashire, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Carers Link also received a grant of just under 500,000.

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