04:45AM, Saturday 09 August 2014
The head of a family support service says he is excited after the charity received a £98,000 grant from BBC Children in Need which will fund a three-year project aimed at helping more fathers and Asian families.
Family Friends, based in The Lawns Nursery in Windsor, offers support to people facing difficult times such as divorce or bereavement.
Head of services Mike Simpson was keen to launch a new scheme after figures indicated there was a low number of dads and Asian families using the service.
According to Mike, fathers comprise only three per cent of Family Friends, and while Asian families make up around eight per cent of the borough’s population, they constitute only four per cent of people who use the service.
“When looking at the figures we realised we weren’t really meeting the demand,” said Mike.
“This grant will enable us to develop our services and offer support to a much wider group of people, so we are very excited about it.”
The charity plans to network with community leaders from organisations, such as the Hindu Society of Maidenhead and the Sikh Gurdwara, to engage with more people from various Asian communities.
The service will also be more suited to helping fathers.
Mike said: "A lot of the services appropriate for mums aren’t necessarily going to be suitable for dads.
"Dads tend to be more activity based or sport-orientated, whereas support for mums might be more geared towards post-natal care for example, so there is a difference."
When asked why he thought Children in Need had given Family Friends one of the largest grants he said: “Clearly we demonstrated the need for the service and we had a well organised plan of how to deliver support."
The Royal Borough will also provide the charity with a free venue which will offer a drop-in service.
The project is due to launch in January.
Visit family-friends.org.uk for more about Family Friends.
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