Hastings: Charity Can No Longer Provide Vulnerable Families With 'Starter Packs'

2 April 2015, 06:00

A charity in Hastings says it'll no longer be able to provide 'starter packs' of household essentials to re-homed families.

Hastings Furniture Service says its funding has been cut by half.

The 'starter packs' contained items like saucepans, crockery and towels. They are given to vulnerable people who find themselves starting up in a new home. This might include people who have low incomes and are starting a home with nothing, people who have been homeless, people who are moving into independence after a time in an institution, families fleeing violence and households that have suffered a crisis such as a fire.

This woman was recently helped by the charity. She told Heart her story.

She described the impact the starter packs had made on her.

The packs cost about £60 to put together per household, but funding for the scheme - which is run by East Sussex County Council - has been cut by more than 50%.

The scale of the scheme has been reduced significantly, although beds and white goods will still be provided for some households in need.

Earlier this year a plan was put forward for Borough and District Councils to contribute £6,000 each towards the costs, but this has been withdrawn. The sum raised would have been enough to provide all the starter packs needed across the County.

Naomi Ridley from Hastings Furniture Service said: "There is a massive need in Hastings for this practical support for families starting again with nothing. These are the most vulnerable people in our community and the packs provide a few essential household items to help them get back on their feet. The survival of the service should not depend on desperate fund-raising by charities like ours."