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As Covid-19 continues to impact everyone’s lives, it is often children who fare the worst. Among our members is Family Support Work (FSW), a charity that has been helping vulnerable children and their families across Sussex since 1890.

FSW has been doing invaluable work supporting children and their families through difficult times whether due to low income and poverty, mental or physical ill health, disability, learning and school difficulties, bereavement, family break-up or domestic abuse.

Family Support Practitioners visit families at home to provide one-to-one emotional and practical support: listening, parenting advice, help to manage money, encouragement and support to find work, referral to specialist services, attending appointments and advocating for families, and providing food and clothing where needed.

The charity also provides a range of group support and structured play activities. These include activity groups with refreshments, day-time drop-in centres, school holiday trips and support groups for special-needs children. 

Despite the lockdown, FSW’s work with families is continuing as normal whilst following all lockdown rules. 

We have had to change how we use the food we get from FareShare over the past few months as we can no longer do group meals. Instead, we did ready steady cook bags in the summer holidays and again in half term. This helped many feed their whole families for the week.

Jacqui Herrington, Family Support Practitioner

Said one recipient: “Being that times are so difficult at the moment, these parcels have been life savers.”

Another added: “With the fresh vegetables and some tins, I batch-cooked five meals to cover us for the rest of the week. Such a huge help when we don’t get child benefit till Monday.”

The food deliveries have been particularly helpful to families who are unable to go out. Said one mother: “The food donations have helped with the essential items I need for myself and my son. Due to my health and amount of infections I am getting, I am not going out unless I have to.”

The deliveries also have another benefit as one recipient told us: “Ready steady cook bags were amazing: they not only fed, us they gave us an activity to do as a family: we had fun planning what we could cook each day, and we cooked together.”

FSW is now preparing for Christmas. They are looking at doing ready steady cook bags at Christmas.  And will be delivering turkeys and Christmas presents, but, sadly, will be unable to hold their usual Christmas parties.

Find out more and how to support Family Support Work here.