Home-Start Kennet has just been awarded a major Big Lottery Grant which will enable it to continue serving young families in the former Kennet District area and to expand into the neighbouring towns of Chippenham and Calne. Home-Start has always had a strong relationship with the military community and is proud of their ongoing work with serving personnel and recently retired veterans
The grant, £375,411 over three years, from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund, recognises the value of the preventive work done since 1987 with local families who are experiencing stress. This grant will help to underwrite the continuation and expansion of HSK’s service until 2019 by providing three quarters of the charity’s funding. However they can only deliver this valuable project if they raise at least £30,000 each year to match the Big Lottery funding, so their local support will still be needed and valued in the coming months and years.
Home-Start introduces professionally trained and supported volunteers, who are all parents themselves, to families with at least one child under five, who are struggling with many issues. The issues can range from the challenge of parenting several young children close in age to serious problems of health, relationships and isolation. They aim to give targeted help at an early stage that prevents problems from escalating to crisis or even family breakdown.
The volunteer visits the family in their own home, once a week, in a friendly but confidential and professional way. The volunteer gives support with household management, enjoying children’s play, going out of the house to appointments and enabling use of community resources. Often the offer of a listening ear is most valued.
Home-Start Kennet has a team of 39 home visiting volunteers and has supported 180 families (with nearly 400 children) over the past three years.
Home-Start Kennet welcomes new volunteers, male and female, of all ages and walks of life. Volunteers are offered a substantial training course (which can lead to accreditation if desired), ongoing professional support in their volunteering and all out of pocket expenses.
For further information about the service, as a family who might benefit or a prospective volunteer, visit www.homestartkennet.co.uk or phone 01672-569457, email email@example.com. Supporters might like to become a Friend of Home-Start.