A ‘Seeing Is Believing’ visit organised by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) gave a great insight into the vital work of two Havant based charities: Home Start Havant and Off The Record. The visit on Friday 21st June 2019 gave attendees the chance to meet staff, volunteers and clients from both organisations which have received grant funding from HIWCF over recent years to support the essential services and projects they provide in the local community.

Home-Start Havant provides a key service to families and parents, providing a parenting role model and practical help to assist families to engage with mainstream services and support those living with debt and poverty. Trained volunteers are matched with families facing difficulties and offer solid advice on a range of issues including providing balanced nutrition for children or support with emotional wellbeing issues. HIWCF has awarded grants of over £14,000 since 2011 to help the Home Start Havant volunteer team to turn things around for disadvantaged or vulnerable families.

 Off The Record (South East Hampshire) supports young people aged 11-25 from the Havant and Portsmouth area with free information and counselling during times of crisis. Volunteers work within an ethical framework, offering support to any young person whatever their circumstances and who often have no one else to turn to. Services also include a programme to support young carers, some of who can be as young as 5, who spend the majority of their time looking after a parent or family member in very poor health. HIWCF has awarded grants of over £56,000 to Off The Record since 2012 to support the counselling programme and to help make life easier for young carers.

 HIWCF Chief Executive Grant Cornwell MBE and Chairman Jonathan Cheshire OBE attended the visit, together with HIWCF Trustees and Fundholders, including representatives from local companies Kenwood and Vivid who hold charitable funds with the Foundation.

Grant Cornwell MBE, Chief Executive at HIWCF said “We are pleased to be able to showcase the great work of these two local charities to enable our supporters to see how their generous donations have been converted into impactful grants helping local disadvantaged people across the Havant area. Last year HIWCF was able to award grants of over £1.06 million across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight thanks to the generosity of our fund holders and donors, but we are aware that we still need to work incredibly hard to ensure that the smaller charities such as Home-Start Havant and Off The Record are able to continue to meet their objectives.”