One of the many ways we reach out to vulnerable families if through our CCS Crisis Fund. The CCS Crisis Fund was established in 2012, following the living wish of a benefactor to leave a lasting legacy after their death.

The fund provides immediate material support for families facing a crisis in their lives and is accessible by all head teachers within the diocese. Often a small amount of support can make a huge difference to a family’s circumstances. Over the last year our CCS Crisis Fund has provided a life-line for over 400 parents and children.

One family we helped was facing being made homeless. The father had been made redundant and struggled to pay the rent on their furnished flat. As a result he and his wife and two young children were evicted from their home. The family was subsequently provided with temporary accommodation by their local authority. However, the property was just a shell with no beds or fridge or furniture of any kind. For several weeks this family slept huddled in blankets on the floor. The children were sleeping very badly and struggled to concentrate in class at school and were described as ‘tired and withdrawn’.

Following an application to the CCS Crisis Fund from the children’s school, CCS provided this family with beds and bedding, together with a sofa and a fridge. This gave the family their dignity back.

They were able to sleep in their own beds and sit together in their living room – such simple things which so many of us take for granted. The family are now working their way out of the poverty trap.

Feedback from head teachers who applied for funding on behalf of families in need has been overwhelmingly positive, such as:

“I am so pleased. It will really help this family out. Thank you ever so much for this offer of compassionate help.”

“We really appreciate that you have been able to help us support this family. I’m sure that it will make life much easier for the family over the Easter period.”

“Many thanks for your prompt support. The family are very grateful and you have made a difference to a harrowing experience.”

This case study is associated with the charity Catholic Childrens Society (Westminster).