Early help to support families

Extra help is at hand to support families in Somerset meet and beat challenges before they develop into crises.

Somerset County Council is setting aside £200,000 each year for the next three years towards funding community groups working with families with children aged 0-19 who need that extra helping hand.

The County Council is working in partnership with Somerset Community Foundation to launch and promote the Somerset Early Help Fund. They are keen to hear from community groups, social enterprises or registered charities that can work with families to help build their resilience – the ability to bounce back from bad times, beat the odds and do better despite their circumstances.

Grants will range from £10,000 to £25,000 a year with most awards expected to average about £15,000. Individuals, and commercial and statutory organisations are not eligible.

Somerset Community Foundation is administering the grants and the deadline for applications this year is Friday 20 March. You can apply here www.somersetcf.org.uk/earlyhelp

Councillor Frances Nicholson, the County Council’s Lead member for Children’s Services, said: “Early help is so important to prevent problems developing into major issues.

“We are keen to hear from groups that can work directly with families and put them in touch with help that may be available in their own neighbourhood.

“This will help families tap into existing networks and become more independent in the longer term.”

Andy Ridgewell, Programmes Manager at Somerset Community Foundation said: “We’re delighted to be working with Somerset County Council to help support groups and organisations that work with young families. This important funding will go towards helping families in the county make strong connections within their communities.”