A PETERSFIELD charity that helps families and single parents struggling to cope with young children, has praised those who made last minute donations so it could source another £10,000.
Home-Start Butser of Winton House in the High Street needed to raise £3,000 in two weeks to reach a £10,000 target by a January 31 deadline.
If it managed it, The Four Acre Trust which "supports charities that give individuals - mainly children and young people - help in making the most of their lives,” pledged a further £10,000.
As the deadline approached, and in a last ditch bid to raise the money, Nicola Winter of Home-Start Butser turned to the Post to help promote the cause.
She said: “The response to the appeal in the Post was amazing, just fantastic.
“The generosity of Petersfield people, East Hampshire district councillors from the Petersfield area, and community groups in the town was overwhelming.
“Especially as one of the conditions set by the Four Acre Trust was that each donation had to be a minimum of £500.
“But we still got so many generous offers and donations, and I can’t thank everyone and the Post enough.
“Thanks to the last minute donations we met the deadline.
“And the Four Acre Trust has just told us it is happy to award us the further £10,000, making a total of £20,000 raised.”
Part of the money will go toward a training and preparation course for new Home-Start Butser volunteers.
There is an urgent need for training more volunteers, as the charity’s case load is rapidly rising.
In a normal April to April year, the charity helps about 80 families.
But last September the Hampshire County Council run Children’s Centre in Love Lane closed.
Now more and more families are turning to Home-Start Butser, says Nicola.
She added: “We have already helped about 75 families, and the referrals are still coming in.
“We get no statutory funding, and have to raise about £90,000 a year to keep going, so this £20,000 is a huge amount toward that.
“We support families from Greatham, through Petersfield to Rowlands Castle and out to East Meon and this money will help us offer often vital support to these, and more, families.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for their generosity.”
To learn more about Home-Start Butser, or to become a volunteer with the charity, visit the website www.homestart-butser.org.uk or contact Nicola on 01730 233755.