Steph Hughes: Gingerbread Receives Funding from Lloyds Bank Foundation

As a local charity based in Stoke-on-Trent, The Gingerbread Centre is always looking for funding to allow us to continue to support vulnerable people. Competition for funding is fierce within the voluntary sector, so we count ourselves extremely lucky to have been awarded funding of £33,000 per year over 3 years from Lloyds Bank Foundation Invest Programme.

Paul Streets OBE, CEO of Lloyds Bank Foundation wrote in his March 2019 blog  ‘It’s time we looked local’ Government restraint around spending has impacted the poorest people and places hardest, especially in the North.”  Stoke-on-Trent is one of 20 Local Authorities in England with the highest proportion of their neighbourhoods in the most deprived 10 per cent nationally. Our Local Authority has previously tried to protect us from the worst of their funding cuts but obviously this couldn’t last forever.

Gingerbread have seen their funding from the Local Authority cut this year and this grant allows us to continue our specific support with Young Parents without losing some of the packages we deliver. We provide support across 2 sites, Catherine Court in Hanley and Rothesay Court in Longton. We aim to prevent future homelessness by giving parents the skills to successfully manage a tenancy and provide the best outcomes for themselves and their children.

The application procedure was easy to navigate, the successful initial stage 1 application was written by Steph Hughes – Catherine Court Operational Manager and Jean Lawton – Rothesay Court Operational Manager. Then Steph and our CEO Wendy Hocking met with Peter Cunnison, Grant Manager for the West Midlands, to discuss the stage 2 application process. We worked closely with Peter to give him a strong application to present to the decision makers who, in turn, awarded us the grant.

Due to cuts in other funding, Catherine Court’s Senior Project Worker role was only part-time, the grant enables us to increase to full-time in order to maintain the quality of our work with young parents. Our work includes; Money Management, Better Managing Mental Health and Physical Wellbeing, Positive Healthy Relationships, Safeguarding and Increasing Confidence and Self-Esteem. Along with practical skills such as; routines for children, healthy eating and tenancy management.

Katie Johnson – Senior Project Worker “Being provided with the funding to allow me to work full-time will allow me to provide guidance to our support workers during their parenting sessions with our parents and children. It will encourage stronger and more positive working relationships for myself, our staff and the families we support as I become more involved in direct hands on support.”