North East charity receives £30,000 grant to support vulnerable children

Children’s charity Safe Families for Children has secured a grant from St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation to further its work with vulnerable families in the North East.

The £30k grant will allow the charity to hire more staff to support families who are struggling across Northumberland.

The charity, which aims to prevent children from needlessly having to go into the care system, has seen 717 families supported in the North East since the charity began accepting referrals from local authorities in 2013.

Families are supported by volunteers from the local community who have been recruited and trained by the charity.

Mark Longbottom, Head of St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation, commented: “We are delighted to support Safe Families for Children, and enable them to secure the support they have been giving to vulnerable children and families in the Northumberland area, thereby improving the life chances of young children and creating more hopeful futures.”

Keith Danby, Chief Executive for Safe Families for Children, said: “We are thrilled about the grant, which will enable us to reach more struggling families in Northumberland. The generosity of St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation allows us to hire key staff who work directly with families and connect them with volunteers who can provide wraparound help. Safe Families is a community-based solution to a community-based problem. It’s just people helping people. While having keen and dedicated volunteers is hugely important, grants like that of St. James’ Place are also massively helpful in keeping the charity working to best capacity.”

Gemma, a single mum of two living in Bedlington, says that Safe Families support gave her the confidence to set and achieve goals.

Gemma was matched with a volunteer Family Friend named Maureen who supported her by meeting up for tea and a chat.

“I suffer from anxiety and low self-esteem”, says Gemma, “and when support began my well-being score was very low. I used to think little of myself, that I couldn’t achieve goals.”

Maureen encouraged her to push forward with her goals. Gemma learned how to drive and passed her driving theory test. Within three months Gemma had gained so much confidence that she felt that she no longer needed to have support but could manage on her own.

“I felt a lot happier by the end of the support”, says Gemma. “It’s improved my confidence and made me want to achieve a lot of things in life.”