Lottery cash helps Oxfordshire's young families

An Oxfordshire charity has been given a £180,000 lottery grant to help struggling young families.

Home-Start Oxford and Bicester, which trains volunteers to provide support for children and parents affected by illness, disability or domestic abuse, currently has a waiting list.

The charity said the money would allow it to provide new volunteers for the next five years.

The chair of the trustees, Romy Briant, said the money was a "lifeline".

"We tend to link with families for a year or more... it will give us security, continuity and allow us to help them in the long term," she added.

The Big Lottery Fund chief executive, Peter Wanless, said the charity, which has been running for 20 years, had a lot of competition for the money.

"Demand is going up and Home-Start Oxford and Bicester has done a fabulous job to extract this significant grant from us," he added.

"There are probably twice as many people applying as would have been the case this time last year for awards of that kind of size."

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