What a year 2020 has been!

2020 has been a really challenging year for everyone, and supporting families is even more important now, as it has ever been.

We would like to take this opportunity, as we draw close to the end of the year, to say ‘Thank You’ to each and every one of you, for all your work and support in enabling Home-Start to continue helping families during this difficult time.

Family Support

This time last year we were enjoying our Christmas party, singing with Father Christmas, eating festive food together and celebrating the year with our volunteers. Fast forward 12 months and the picture is very different today. So much of what we took for granted was swept away overnight… a stark reminder about living in the moment.

‘Determined’ and ‘committed’ are words I would use to describe the staff team at Home-Start, and never has there been more resoluteness to continue supporting families through this tumultuous time. We have risk assessed to within an inch of our lives and come up with the most incredibly creative ways to bring in funding, which has allowed us to take our services, training and working practices online, all ensuring the support to families is still there.

But, it’s not the same. It can’t be, can it? Because quite frankly nothing is the same! However, what our families have told us, is that the support they’ve had – be it over the phone, zoom, through WhatsApp and messages, walking and talking, outdoor group – has been fundamental to helping them ‘get through’ these unusual and difficult times.

We’d like to share a selection of the heart-warming and honest comments from some of our families, about the support they have received from Home-Start:

Volunteers

What can I say about our volunteers. They are AMAZING! Talk about taking things in your stride… we’ve had storytellers, video makers, crafters, singers, gardeners – all have come forward with skills we didn’t realise were there.

No matter how big or small their role over the last year, our volunteers have all stayed connected and committed. We can’t ask for more than that and we are proud of every single one of them.

Volunteer delivering Christmas gifts to our families

Funding

Our small fundraising team have worked their socks off to secure the vital funds that we have needed this year. Incredibly, we have met our targets, which has been down to their hard work.

Funding awarded from Trusts and Foundations and statutory bodies has been a significant part of this success. And, we have been absolutely astounded at the support we have received from our local community. Donations of money, gifts, goods, services, campaigns have all just been incredible and helped to keep morale high during some inevitable low times.

The list of thank yous is so extensive that you’d be reading this article well into 2021 if we listed them all, so we’d like to take this opportunity to say a collective ‘Thank You’ to everyone who has helped our charity, including those who have donated or offered to donate time, money, food, home items, toys, books, clothes, services, bought tickets or goods, attended events, participated in challenges and campaigns, sung – we are humbled and truly grateful for your support.

Moving Forward

As we move into 2021, nobody knows what the year has in store for us, although we hope that it might be a little smoother than this year has been.

What we do know is that Home-Start will continue to support families, in all the ways we have been doing and more.

We also know that in order to maintain our services we are going to have to work harder than ever to keep our funding streams going. And so it is vital that we can count on the continued support of our wonderful community to work together with us, helping us to be there for parents when they need us most, because childhood can’t wait!

Merry Christmas everyone, wishing you all a restful, peaceful break and looking forward to connecting again with you in 2021!

Sarah and the Home-Start Team

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