Family support organisation facing closure due to funding crisis

Volunteer Lindsay Warren with children at a session provided by Patch at Grange Primary School.
Volunteer Lindsay Warren with children at a session provided by Patch at Grange Primary School.

A Hartlepool family support organisation is facing closure due to funding pressures.

Patch Family Support says it is likely it will be forced to shut later this year unless fresh funding can be found.

It is after its previous five- year lottery funding ran out last June and a new application was turned down.

The voluntary organisation, based in Stranton, has provided support services and volunteering opportunities to thousands of people across Hartlepool for over 20 years.

Manager Jan Dobson said: “The lottery funding would have given us about a third of our funding requirements and gone a long way to keeping us open.

“We have around 1,000 service users. They are aware of the situation and are quite up in arms about the likelihood we are going to close and are asking all sorts of questions and if there is anything they can do to help.

“I think a lot of people are going to be devastated if we do close. It is very significant as it is going to have a big impact on statutory services as families will continue to need support.”

Patch has another funding bid in for specific services with Children In Need and hopes to hear if that has been successful by the end of the month.

It has delivered services in Hartlepool for the last 23 years including parenting skills and support, activities for grandparents and grandchildren, one-to-one support in people’s homes, loans of safety equipment and it also delivers a healthy eating programme.

But Jan remained positive and said members have every intention of carrying on and there was still work to be done.

Patch is currently looking for people who have an interest in childcare and family support to give a few hours a week to volunteer in the project.

It is enrolling for an NCFE Award in Volunteering course, which will run at the centre next month.

If you are interested in volunteering or for details about its services, contact Patch on (01429) 862727.