A PROJECT working with disadvantaged children and young people in Winchester has been awarded over £22,000 to help support its vital services.

Home-Start Winchester & Districts has been awarded a three-year grant of £22,923 to deliver weekly play sessions for parents and young children living in deprivation from BBC Children in Need.

Funding will provide structured sessions where families can meet each week to interact with each other, build positive friendships and develop a local network of support.

Liz Stannard, senior co-ordinator, said: “Thank you BBC Children in Need! New funding means we can continue to provide a supportive environment for local families with young children, and encourage them to meet new people who share similar experiences.”

Speaking of the new grant Elizabeth Myers, head of impact (south and north) at BBC Children in Need, added: “It’s always a real pleasure to award new grants to projects like Home-Start Winchester & Districts especially in these difficult times. At BBC Children in Need we are dedicated to making a positive difference to the lives of children and young people in local communities – it’s projects like this that continue to demonstrate how funding benefits young people, and gives them the extra support they need to build a brighter future.”

The new funding award - made possible following BBC Children in Need’s 2019 Appeal in November - will support the delivery of vital services to young people in the area and means that the charity now has more than £100,000 invested locally.

Simon Antrobus, chief executive of BBC Children in Need, said: “At a time when children and young people need our support more than ever, I am incredibly proud to be awarding funding which will go on to positively impact their lives. These grants were only made possible thanks to our remarkable supporters, so a big thank you to everyone who supported us in 2019.”

Following The Big Night In appeal in April which brought BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief together for the first time, BBC Children in Need launched a number of dedicated funding programmes to support local charities across the UK who are providing essential help to children and young people during the current crisis. BBC Children in Need is committed to supporting disadvantaged children and young people who are facing additional challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and further funding opportunities will be announced in due course.