NEARLY £40,000 was awarded to voluntary and community groups in April from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation’s (HIWCF) Grassroots Families in Crisis Fund.

Sixteen groups from across the county were awarded the grants, of which seven were Home Start charities which provide support for families in crisis.

Toni Shaw, CEO of HIWCF, said: “It has been a busy start to the year for the foundation, with applications exceeding £800,000 for this first round.

“As shrinking budgets continue to bite, more families than ever find themselves struggling financially and are dependent on the help and advice of non-profit organisations.

“Our Families in Crisis Fund aims to support the vital work these groups do in our communities.”