SHS practitioners are able to issue emergency grants from the SHS Welfare Fund to provide the most disadvantaged families with financial assistance. The Welfare Fund is a vital resource for our practitioners, but its use is restricted to emergency grants only. Since September, thanks to Islington Giving, our six practitioners in Islington can access the Family Catalyst Fund to foster wonderful memories and experiences for some of their most disadvantaged families. The Family Catalyst Fund can also be used to encourage personal growth and development by means that would otherwise not be possible.
Three separate practitioners have so far made use of the Family Catalyst Fund to give families time for recreation and development. One of our practitioners was able to use the fund to provide a rare and wonderful day out at the aquarium for a young girl and her parents while her father was on day release from prison. The fund was used by another practitioner to enable a single mother to take her son to a pantomime, after enduring extremely difficult few months involving domestic violence at the hands of an ex-partner. The fund has also been used so that a family can travel to a clinic to get support for the son who had undiagnosed SEN.
The purpose of the fund is to open opportunities for time for families to pursue hobbies and interests and build more positive futures. Islington Giving has provided the grant for two years and we hope that other families will benefit similarly.