The short answer is – Home-Start can help any young family who needs support – as long as there is one child under five.
Reasons for needing Home-Start’s help are endless and individual:
- A parent may feel isolated in their community, have no family nearby and be struggling to make friends; or
- They may be finding it hard to cope because of their own or a child’s physical or mental illness ; or
- They may have been hit hard by the death of a loved one ; or
- They may be really struggling the with emotional and physical demands of having twins or triplets – perhaps born into an already large family
For all these – and many other problems, non-judgemental, practical help is at hand as long – as I said – as they have at least one child under five. And parents who ask for Home-Start’s help can be sure of total confidentiality.
Unlike the social services, there is no stigma attached to Home-Start’s help – which might explain the 25% of families who refer themselves to us. Indeed, when I unexpectedly became a lone parent years back with three young children one of whom had a chronic illness and living miles away from my family, I only wish I had known of HomeStart myself. It would have been such a help.
HomeStart Suffolk Coastal volunteers help to increase the confidence and independence of families by:
- Visiting families in their own homes to offer support, friendship and practical assistance
- Reassuring parents that their childcare problems are not unusual or unique
- Encouraging parents’ strengths and emotional well-being for the ultimate benefit of their children
- Trying to get the fun back into family life
- helping them cope with post-natal illness, isolation, bereavement, disability, domestic violence and much more
- running family groups in Woodbridge, Leiston and Felixstowe for parents who need support to socialise as well as have some parent/child play