Homestart is ready for fight

Awards winner at Acorn house ''Hosted by Margaret Harrison CBE (left hand chair)
Awards winner at Acorn house ''Hosted by Margaret Harrison CBE (left hand chair)

CITY charity Homestart is ready to do battle with councillors at next week’s budget meeting amid fears it may have to close.

The volunteer based service, which looks after vulnerable families, receives £68,600 of core funding from Milton Keynes Council, but from April 1 this could be stopped.

At a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday night an online petition was presented to councillors containing 542 signatures and a host of testimonies from those who had used the service.

One comment stated: “Homestart really does benefit my daughter and I would not like to see it closed. Homestart helps so many families and they want to shut it down and leave all of those families without that support.

“I honestly think that is appalling. What are they going to do with the money they would have funded Homestart with? Waste it on something that is less beneficial?”

One volunteer said: “As a volunteer I feel that the support we provide to families with children under five is invaluable. This is such an important age group and I find it incomprehensible the council fail to see this.”

In 2011 the charity managed to raise £205,000 but it admitted its needs the money from the council to help keep the group running.

The money it receives in council grants helps to pay for half of the charity’s rent and most of its administration costs.