It was with great sadness that Home-Start Andover & Districts trustees took the decision to wind down the charity and cease to support families at the end of November 2015. Despite huge fundraising efforts by the charity, they were not able to secure long term sustainable funding. Established in 2009, the small charity has trained almost 60 volunteers who have made over 1,500 visits to local families with over 250 children.
Home-Start charities are not alone in struggling to sustain services. A report published by Lloyds Bank Foundation found that four in five small and medium charities are “struggling to raise the funds they need” A survey of 800 charities in England and Wales by the Foundation says 81 per cent of charities find it hard to get the money that will help them survive. They also reported an increase in referrals, and in demand for their services; with cases often more complex.
The report, “Expert yet undervalued and on the front line” was published in July 2015. It says that, “Small and medium sized charities are important. Often they serve those facing multiple disadvantage who are in most need and present the greatest challenge to public services. They understand local needs and how to meet them”.