One of the most important parts of Home-Start Royston, Buntingford and South Cambridgeshire is that we are rooted in the community that we deliver a service to. Many of you will know that Home-Start is a national organisation, there are around 200 Home-Start charities dotted around the UK. Although most of them have a common theme, in that they provide support to local families with young children, if you look at them individually you will notice subtle differences, depending upon where they are located.
Home-Start Royston, Buntingford & South Cambridgeshire (HSRBSC) covers a pretty rural area around the Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire borders. Although this incorporates the towns of Royston and Buntingford, the rural nature of the area somewhat extends into these towns. What this means in terms of the young families that we support are that often services are centralised in larger towns for example Letchworth, Stevenage, Ware, Cambourne or Cambridge. Transport links can be somewhat irregular, so accessing services can become problematic.
Community support on our doorstep
For families living in very rural communities, small villages and hamlets, those services available in the local community can be fundamental to keeping a connection with people locally. The British Queen pub in Meldreth is a quaint traditional free house pub, well known and loved in the village of Meldreth. This family pub is well supported by the local community and in turn, can often be found running initiatives that support other community organisations. And HSRBSC is one of those lucky organisations that have benefitted from incredible support from this local organisation. Having shared the village of Meldreth as our office base for over 10 years now, The British Queen has often been somewhere that HSRBSC has turned to for an event. This might have been a celebratory end of course lunch with a new set of volunteers, or a Christmas get together for the staff, The British Queen pub has always made us feel very welcome and looked after, whenever we have visited.
Over the years The British Queen has held a collection tin for Home-Start on their bar, which has generated a steady trickle of income, as well as keeping our organisation’s name present locally. This is important because we never know who might benefit from some of the support that we can offer, so the more people who know about us, the better chance we have of reaching those who need us.
They have also sponsored some of our events, way back in pre covid times, when face to face events were happening – they were particularly supportive of our popular race nights. Towards the end part of 2021, we approached The British Queen to ask whether there were other ways that we could work together and they kindly agreed to give HSRBSC the proceeds from their carol singing event, which took place in December. We were blown away when following that they told us that HSRBSC would be their charity of the year, meaning we would benefit from some of the proceeds of their weekly meat raffles, held on Sundays at 5 pm.
This incredible generosity has accumulated in us receiving a total of £1,030 this financial year. This amount of income could;
- fund 2 terms of hall hire at our Royston Family Support Group, or
- would enable us to provide a co-ordinator to oversee 6 months of home visiting support for two local families, or
- could finance the staff time required to deliver 5 training sessions for new volunteers, learning how to provide Home-Visiting support to families.
It is a really meaningful amount of money for our charity to receive.
So we would like to say a massive THANK YOU to The British Queen pub and all their local patrons and followers. We are proud to be associated with a well-loved local community organisation and we are super grateful for the support that they have given us that has helped us to keep supporting local families in our shared community.