Under-threat Hartlepool group enjoys festive party

Santa Claus pays a visit to the Patch Family Support Christmas party in the Belle Vue Centre.
Santa Claus pays a visit to the Patch Family Support Christmas party in the Belle Vue Centre.

A support group in Hartlepool has been doing its best to enjoy the festive season as it faces an uncertain future.

Patch Family Support welcomed Santa Claus to its Christmas party in the Belle Vue Centre.

The project is waiting on the outcome of a number of funding bids in the new year to see what its future holds.

But in the meantime the organisation held the party following a collaboration with Tesco, Hartlepool Foodbank and Unison.

Al Wales, Foodbank manager, said: “This event shows what can be accomplished through partnership and working together.

“It has been a massive privilege to support the Patch team and all the families who attended the party had such a wonderful time.”

Patch Family Support has been working with children and families for the past 22 years in Hartlepool and provide a range of services including one-to-one home support, group activities which help to develop skills in young children giving them a head start into nursery, a loan of safety equipment to prevent accidents in the home, grandparents’ group, and a wide range of training for volunteers and local people.

The group has also introduced a therapy service, delivered in the centre by Hartlepool and East Durham Mind, which is open to local people.

A spokesperson for the group said: “The Christmas party was only been able to go ahead with support from Tesco, The Foodbank and Unison and we are grateful for their help and kind contributions.”

Patch Family Support is facing closure in the first half of next year if it does not receive further funding.

This will impact not only on the families themselves but also on the statutory services within Hartlepool.

The manager, Jan Dobson, has a number of funding bids awaiting outcomes and will know what the future of the project is early next year.