South Ashford charities bid for Community Fund grants

Two charities based in South Ashford are bidding for grants from the Aviva Community Fund. Both Homestart Ashford and Beaver Community Trust have submitted bids.

You increase the likelihood of these projects winning funding by registering and giving up to 10 votes for the projects you would like to receive funding – either share the votes between the two local charities or give all ten votes to either one of them.

The description of the bids and links to vote are given below:

Home-Start Ashford & District – Project 30

Vote here:

Health and wellbeing
Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


• Our Vision – We believe that the children of Ashford and District need a happy and secure childhood and that parents are key to giving their children the best start in life, helping them to achieve their full potential.

• What we do – We provide support and friendship to families with at least one child under 5 with the aim of enhancing their well-being and overall family-life.

• How we achieve this – We listen to what families say and provide the support they say they need, not what we think they need. We are highly professional. Our team of skilled and dedicated volunteers are trained and supported by our highly motivated staff. They all make families and children their priority and treat them with respect, trust and empathy.

• Our History – We are a charity with 30 years’ experience of working with local families – we know how family structures have changed beyond all recognition in the last 30 years and we understand the myriad challenges they face today such as economic hardship, lack of housing, unemployment, mental illness, long term disability, post-natal depression and loneliness to name but a few. As a charity, we are resilient. In 2012, we lost all long term local authority funding and we nearly ceased to exist. Since then, we have survived by obtaining grants from local and national charitable trusts and thanks to the generosity of local donors and local community groups. Slowly but surely, we have rebuilt our Scheme and now we want to grow again.

• Project 30 – 2018 is the 30th anniversary of the founding of Home-Start Ashford. We will be holding a number of exciting events throughout the year to celebrate 30 years of providing support and friendship to families with young children in our community. We are looking to raise an additional £30,000 over the year to enable us to grow and support more families. Just £1000 pays for the training, supervision, support and expenses of a volunteer to support a family for a whole year – potentially avoiding the disintegration of that family and all the consequent heartache and costs of one or more children having to be cared for by Social Services. £25,000 would enable us to support up to 25 more families for a year.

Recent feedback from volunteers when they were asked about their proudest moments when supporting families:

“I think generally it is working towards giving “Mum” the confidence to say: “I can manage now on my own” – it’s a feeling of having done a good job and making a difference.”

“My proudest achievement is seeing a family grow in confidence and take some control of the events going on in their lives. To hear news of them gaining new employment and moving forward in a positive way is very rewarding.”

“I’ve had a few over the years but with my latest family the dad recently said: ‘it’s the highlight of my week when you visit’. ”

Recent feedback from families when their Home Start support came to an end:

“A friend to talk to. Something to look forward to. She became more of a mum to me than my real one.” – new mum with twins.

“Having contact with another person who has knowledge and experiences that they can share which helps through difficult times…and their training and knowledge about Autism has helped.” – mother of an autistic child.

“I’m more confident, relaxed, our children are more happy.”

Bridging the

Health and wellbeing
Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


We will be running a programme out of our Lightbites Cafes at the Willow and the Ray Allen Children’s Centres where we provide meals to families who normally receive free school dinners and struggle to pay for them in the holidays. Sometimes the parents/carers go without themselves to enable them to feed their children. This scheme has been identified as a requirement by Schools, Children Centres, Youth Hub and other local organisations. The families will be provided with a two course meal and a drink. There will be a referral system in place so that the schools etc. can refer the families and issue them with a form stating how many meals, the names of the children and adult and what days the meals are required.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *