Children First Derby celebrates after receiving over £300,000 in National Lottery funding

Children First Derby is celebrating today after being awarded £311,618 in funding, over five years, from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Children First Derby is a local charity that works with vulnerable children, young people, and their families, to make a positive impact on their lives. Children First Derby will use the funding to enhance their highly effective community Family Support Service, which they have been delivering since 2015.

The service provides early intervention support to vulnerable families with children up to the age of 18, in the most deprived areas of Derby, designed to remove the need for Social Care intervention.

Irshad Baqui, CEO, Children First Derby said: “Families need support for many reasons and may struggle to cope due to family breakdown, mental health issues, social isolation, or children’s challenging behaviour.

This new National Lottery funding will allow us to enhance our service which aims to support families to move forward positively with their lives. Our support is child-centred, holistic and based on recognised good practice. We focus on improving family relationships, building resilience, reducing mental health issues, and facilitating connections with appropriate community support networks.”

In addition to providing one to one support to vulnerable children and families, Children First Derby offer several parental support workshops which provide practical and constructive guidance to help families address the challenges they face.

National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. The National Lottery Community Fund distributes a share of this to projects to support people and communities to prosper and thrive. 

Fred Jacques, Chair of Trustees, Children First Derby explained, “Thanks to National Lottery players, this grant means that we can help even more families that need to access our vital services. The pandemic has intensified the situation for vulnerable families in the area and we are finding more families facing challenges due to increased isolation and loneliness and in the absence of the support from wider family networks. A significant number of parents and carers are experiencing mental health issues and another major area has been behaviour management, mainly due to children’s anxiety and isolation. All this has meant that the demand for the service has significantly increased, and the type of support needed has also changed. This funding will make a big difference to people’s lives.”

During the pandemic, in 2020 alone, The National Lottery Community Fund distributed almost £1 billion to charities and community organisations across the UK.