A project working with children in Croydon has been awarded nearly £900,000 by the Big Lottery Fund, it was announced on Thursday.
Croydon Family Project, led by Croydon Voluntary Action, is one of five projects in London that has been awarded a share of almost £4.5m.
All the projects work with children growing up in difficult circumstances.
A spokesperson for the Croydon Family Project, which will receive £899,991, said: “We are very happy being one of those recipients. Our main focus will be developing empathy skills through good parenting and training families whom we are supporting and linking up them with other parents in Croydon and Lewisham.”
Another project to receive funding is the Family Pathways initiative in Lewisham, which is led by the Pre-school Learning Alliance. The scheme will receive £900,000 to provide targeted and holistic support for families.
They will focus on children who demonstrate anti-social or destructive behaviour, which often results from experiencing trauma such as domestic violence. One of the more innovative elements of the programme is its focus on helping young children reduce aggression levels by developing empathy.
Val Pope, Executive Manager at the Pre-school Learning Alliance Lewisham, explained: “Family Pathways is bringing a new evidence-based parenting programme into the country called Roots of Empathy, which gives children in primary schools a chance to support the development and nurture of a young baby which joins their class on a regular basis for nine months.”
The Big Lottery Fund has chosen 17 groundbreaking projects from across the UK to be the first to receive awards from its Improving Futures programme. The grants, which total £15.2m, will provide earlier and more joined-up support to families with multiple and complex problems.