Charity saved by £250k funding

PATCH manager Jan Dobson with 14-month-old twins Morgan (left) and Max Ellerby, from Clavering, and some of the service volunteers and users who will benefit from the �250,000 Lottery Fund grant
PATCH manager Jan Dobson with 14-month-old twins Morgan (left) and Max Ellerby, from Clavering, and some of the service volunteers and users who will benefit from the �250,000 Lottery Fund grant
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A FAMILY charity that was facing closure has been saved after being awarded almost £250,000 of vital lottery funding.

Hartlepool PATCH (Parent and Toddler Care in Hartlepool) has been given a grant of £244,199 to continue to run a project to support families with young children.

The welcome news came just in time as the group, based in Stranton, was within weeks of having to close because of funding worries.

Manager Jan Dobson said: “We were getting very close to having to close.

“The lottery funding came in with weeks to spare. It was very close because funding was so difficult, so it’s really exciting for the future that we can continue with it.

“It is part funding over three years so we still have to get funding from other sources, but it is a really good start.”

The funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities Grant will safeguard PATCH’s family support project which helps scores of town families every year.

The project, open to anyone with children under five, includes group activities where staff work with parents and children on language, literacy and communication activities.

Trained volunteers also provide emotional and practical support in families’ homes.

And 350 families have taken advantage of PATCH’s Safety Equipment Home Loan Scheme for things like stair gates and fire guards.

PATCH, which has been operating in Hartlepool for 20 years, also trains volunteers and delivers a baby support group.

Jan added: “There are a range of reasons families come to us.

“They may be suffering from isolation and not have other family around. But it may be they just need some support with their young children because it is such a difficult job.

“Our remit is support for any family in Hartlepool with a child under five.”

PATCH, which operates from Dimensional House, also received a boost recently when it was given a gold award for raising awareness of breast feeding and the need to provide a feeding and baby changing room for any parent to use.