Leading housebuilders Barratt and David Wilson Homes have donated £5,000 to five charities which support disadvantaged children in Devon and Cornwall.
The first charity to receive a £1,000 donation is Home-Start Exeter, East & Mid Devon which supports parents and families from all backgrounds or situations, such as those struggling with mental health issues or with children with disabilities. Home-Start trains volunteers experienced in parenting and matches them to families, to offer emotional and practical support to help families get back on track.They also offer a range of on-line parent and family support groups. The charity's Cornwall service, Home-Start Kernow, will be receiving an equivalent donation.
Barratt and David Wilson Homes will also be donating to Action for Children's Tiverton centre. The centre provides support for children and families including health visitor services, speech therapy, access to midwives and they also run classes for parents, play groups and support sessions. Many of the families they support have found it difficult to engage with online services during the covid pandemic, often because of a lack of technology in the home. The Tiverton centre will use the £1,000 donation to buy tablets and devices for families so that they can access courses and support sessions online as well as helping with home schooling.
Another charity to receive a donation is the Plymouth Drake Foundation for its Plymouth Children in Poverty campaign, which has brought together a network of organisations working to eradicate poverty in Plymouth. One of their projects funds teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate in the National Citizen Service programme, equipping them with work and life skills and building their confidence and self-esteem.
Finally, Barratt and David Wilson Homes are donating £1,000 to Care for Kids North Devon. This charity provides financial assistance to families of children who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, who are often treated in specialist hospitals outside the area. This can cause loss of income and grants given are to help with travel and subsistence and accommodation costs. Care for Kids North Devon has provided financial support to over 120 local families, and the housebuilders' donation will help them continue to support families.
The five star housebuilders, now building and selling new homes at Raleigh Holt, Barnstaple, Braid Park, Tiverton and Minerva, Exeter, are committed to supporting the communities they are working in. Barratt David Wilson Homes' Exeter division donates £1,000 every month to local causes across Devon and Cornwall. This is in addition to a £24,000 contribution in September last year to Devon charities which support homeless people, young men at risk of suicide and people in hospice care.
Jo Darke from Home-Start Exeter said: "Coronavirus has placed the greatest strain on families who were already struggling. We're so grateful for the donation from Barratt and David Wilson Homes, as this is a time when our services are most valued and needed. Donations like this have enabled us to set up vital support networks and continue to help families stay connected and get back on track."
Commenting on the donation to Action for Children's Tiverton centre, Richard Holmes, Service lead Mid Devon Children's Centres, added:
"We are delighted that Barratt Homes, Exeter, has chosen Action For Children, Tiverton, to receive a donation. We have worked with over 327 families in the last year and have found that not all families have the equipment to be able to take up virtual services, sometimes using only their phones and small screens. With this generous sum, we will be able to purchase tablets, laptops, and other devices to loan to parents so they can join our virtual online parenting programs in a more friendly and comfortable way with a bigger screen - and in addition to help children taking part in online school learning."
Stephen Patey, Chairman of the Plymouth Children in Poverty Campaign commented: "Thank you so much to Barratt and David Wilson Homes for their generous donation. Lockdown has only served to increase the level of child poverty in our city and this money is more vital than ever in helping towards achieving our goal of eradicating child poverty from Plymouth."
Care for Kids North Devon founder member and manager Jacky Massos added: "Coronavirus restrictions have stopped lots of our normal fundraising activities but donations like this from Barratt and David Wilson homes have meant we can continue to offer the lifeline of financial support to the families of children with life threatening illnesses."
Commenting on the donations to support communities around their latest developments in Devon and Cornwall, Nicki Reid, sales director for Barratt David Wilson Homes Exeter said:
"It's really important to us to make a positive contribution to the communities we build in and these charities were chosen because of the amazing work they do for vulnerable children and families across Devon and Cornwall. Now it feels even more important than ever to offer additional support. We are hugely grateful to the staff and volunteers at all these charities for their incredibly valuable work and we hope our contribution enables them to spread that support widely."