St Christopher’s Family Centre works with vulnerable young people and families in the middle of the Holmewood estate in Bradford, currently ranked in the top 1% most deprived communities in the UK.
In Holmewood, 42% of children live in poverty and 86% of households suffer some level of deprivation. Poor nutrition, chronic Ill-health, crime and anti-social behaviour present constant challenges to family life. Learning to eat well, exercise and develop healthy lifestyles is proven to dramatically improve quality of life and wellbeing – this is where St Christopher’s Family Centre has focused its support.
The Family Centre seeks to become involved with families as soon as they welcome a new born child right through to their children leaving education. Services are based on an extensive knowledge and understanding of the local context.
St Christopher’s Family Centre has been running for over 20 years. Historically the project has sought to become involved with families as soon as they welcome a new born child and stay involved right through to children leaving education. In this way, the Family Centre hopes to provide effective early intervention and has developed services such as Baby Sense and Early Bird sessions for families of newborns and 0-5’s; as well as Super Mums (activities for parents) and Heaven’s Kitchen (family cook and eat sessions).
For young people, they have focussed on supporting independent living for those young people who have needed to leave home or find employment; as well as drop-ins offering educational support, and a programme of trips and enrichment.
A relatively small staff team is supported by 20+ committed volunteers, who work in close partnership with other youth providers within Holme Wood and across Bradford, Families First, local schools and nurseries and Children’s Social Care. Services are based on an extensive knowledge and understanding of the local context. Over the years SCFC has remained an anchor whilst the community has suffered the loss of many other facilities and services due to withdrawal of funding and resources.
What was needed
St Christopher’s Family Centre needed to evolve into a charity with the ability to apply for funding in its own right. Staff restructuring was also necessary to support change and facilitate the growth of new services. Streamlining the organisation to help increase the team’s capacity.
What we acheived
Futurekraft has supported St Christopher’s Family Centre through the process of registering as a charity. Alongside this change in legal status, development work has taken place, enabling the charity to review its structure and appoint a manager who oversees all aspects of the work with families and young people.
Consequently, the charity has fully reviewed its services and has identified new initiatives for which funding can now be sought under its new status.
In 2017, St Christopher’s Family Centre regularly supported over 250 local people and they are on target to reach out to more than 300 people in 2018. Their programme has grown significantly, and the charity is in the development stages of renovating their building to enable further project growth.