Midland Heart helps funding bids

Team raises £16,000 for vulnerable families.

The Families Team at locally-based housing association Midland Heart has raised over £16,000 to help some of the region’s most vulnerable families following cuts to local budgets.

Adapting to potential shortfalls in funding, the team have pulled together to re-skill and source alternative funding channels so it can continue to help those most in need.

To support people who struggle financially to make key purchases for their homes such as furniture and white goods to enable them to live independently, the team have re-trained and learned how to write bids to charities to secure items they need.

Previously funded through a council’s local welfare provision, this source came under threat in 2017, and with a need to potentially make what provision they did have stretch further, the additional funds have helped over 47 families.

Families’ team leader Chris Hughes said: “Cuts to funding always hit those who need it most and when you are trying to maintain a home, it is the larger items that are impossible to buy, but which make a huge difference to mental wellbeing and quality of life.

“Bid writing does not come naturally, but thankfully one of our team has quickly become an expert and has helped other team members to secure funds resulting in £16,200 over the past 12 months.

“Each charity has a different criteria, but the team has responded well and managed to really help families who are most in need. We have also been able to use these new skills to provide better, more aligned support for the families we work with and link them to the most appropriate charities. I am really impressed with how the team has responded.”

Midland Heart already works with a number of local charities, but understanding how they allocate money has led the team to access a number of national charities like Buttle UK and Glasspool for furniture and white goods. They have also worked with additional charitable organisations which arrange family holidays and day passes to Alton Towers, to be able to give families that bit extra.

“We should never under-estimate the difference just a little support can make. When we have told families that these charities will help, they are ecstatic, some are in tears. Many of these families have been through so much, so even just being able to get in their own bed is a massive relief to most,”
added Chris.

“Fortunately the council funding has continued, but we can now offer our families more options and with a quicker turn around.”

The Families Team are available to help any Midland Heart family in need of support or help. For more information, visit: www.midlandheart.org.uk