MORE help is being given to support Somerset families to help them meet and beat challenges before they develop into crises.

Somerset County Council (SCC) is setting aside £200,000 each year for the next three years to fund community groups working with families with children aged 0-19 who need an extra helping hand.

The county council is working in partnership with Somerset Community Foundation to launch and promote the Somerset Early Help Fund.

SCC said it is keen to hear from community groups, social enterprises or registered charities that can work with families to help build their resilience – the ability to bounce back from bad times, beat the odds and do better despite their circumstances.

Grants will range from £10,000 to £25,000 a year with most awards expected to average about £15,000.

Individuals, and commercial and statutory organisations are not eligible.

Councillor Frances Nicholson, SCC’s lead member for Children’s Services, said: “Early help is so important to prevent problems developing into major issues.

“We are keen to hear from groups that can work directly with families and put them in touch with help that may be available in their own neighbourhood.

“This will help families tap into existing networks and become more independent in the longer term.”

Somerset Community Foundation is administering the grants and the deadline for applications is Wednesday, February 26.

Andy Ridgewell, programmes Manager at Somerset Community Foundation said: “We’re delighted to be working with Somerset County Council to help support groups and organisations that work with young families.

"This important funding will go towards helping families in the county make strong connections within their communities.”

For details or to apply visit