A new Children and Families Fund is set to boost the county’s groups and organisations working with vulnerable families.
The fund, launched on 28 November by Staffordshire County Council, was part of #GivingTuesday, an international day encouraging people to get involved in charities and their communities.
Extra funding could be available to organisations, charities, or community groups if they use Crowdfund Staffordshire to fundraise and their project helps vulnerable families and children avoid getting into a crisis situation. The County Council could invest up to £5,000 into a project if the local community also supports it by pledging at least 50% of the fundraising target.
Mark Sutton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Staffordshire County Council said: “Our Children and Families Fund is an exciting opportunity for people to make a real difference here in Staffordshire. It will allow communities to help vulnerable families to stay together and give their children the best start in life.
“Local communities know their area much better than we do, which is why we have created the opportunity for the community to take control. We also know that families would prefer to be supported by their friends and communities rather than be drawn into the social services system.Anyone using Crowdfund Staffordshire could benefit from the fund, and you can easily check if your project is eligible by clicking on the Extra Funding tab on the website or by emailing us. Then the next stage is to get going and register your project on Crowdfund Staffordshire and start receiving pledges from the crowd.”
Projects which will improve or maintain physical health, mental health or general wellbeing of families are also likely to be eligible for funding. Likewise, activities that help families into work, volunteering, eat better, connect with their community and stay together as a family could also be considered. The funding will support projects and activities that enable families to get help at the earliest possible stage, or to resolve issues that matter to them without the need for getting involved in local authority services.
Monica Dunbar, from Love Inspire Foundation provides half-term activities for children as well as access to a crisis support centre for vulnerable families. Monica said: “This new fund which we’ll be able to access through Crowdfund Staffordshire is a great opportunity for the community to get behind projects such as our Half Term Activities Programme.
“Eighty local children are already signed up for the programme and accessing structured activities with the offer of free meals. We’d now like to make this available to even more families to ensure that no child is left behind. We will certainly be applying to the ‘Children & Families Fund. It’s exciting times.”
Crowdfund Staffordshire launched in October 2017 and allows local groups to showcase their project to the thousands of people who regularly donate to good causes online. The platform also includes free advice, coaching, webinars and workshops to help make sure their fundraising campaign is a success.
Raminder Dhaliwal from Inspired Parenting who work with families in South Staffordshire is also looking forward to applying to the fund. Raminder said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for us to get our project off the ground. We are a local organisation and want to work with schools to deliver emotional wellbeing sessions for children, alongside workshops for parents and teachers. We want to make a real difference to families in our local community and want to be able to offer our services to even more families. I believe that the new County Council fund and Crowdfund Staffordshire could help us to do this and we’ll be starting our fundraising on Crowdfund Staffordshire soon.”
People can start fundraising today at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/funds/crowdfund-staffordshire or find out more about the fund by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.