It’s our 40th anniversary: Celebrating 40 years supporting local families

It’s our 40th anniversary!

2023 is Home-Start Royston, Buntingford & South Cambridgeshire’s (Home-Start) 40th anniversary. That’s 40 years of supporting thousands of families and children in our local community.

Despite facing many significant challenges and changes along the way, Home-Start continues to deliver vital practical and emotional home-visiting support that many parents describe as a “lifeline.” The charity also now runs 3 weekly Family Support Groups in Royston, Buntingford and South Cambridgeshire. Volunteers, who are carefully recruited and trained, all share experiences and understanding of parenting, demonstrating empathy and understanding of just how tough being a parent can be.

Over the last 40 years, Home-Start has seen hundreds of different faces in the roles of staff, volunteers, trustees and supporters. The continuity amongst all these faces is the unwavering commitment and dedication to the important support that Home-Start provides for local families.

It is an absolute lifeline. I wouldn’t be the mum I am without it. They have supported me throughout multiple different issues throughout my motherhood. I would recommend it.

Quote from a parent about the support she received from Home-Start

Home-Start’s history

The first Home-Start charity was established in 1973. It was founded by Margaret Harrison CBE, a mother and volunteer herself. Margaret believed that supporting a family worked best when done in a family’s own home, enabling the support to be shaped to the needs of the family, but not everyone has family and friends living close by that they can call on for support. Margaret recognised that if parents get support and friendship from another parent, they will be better equipped to cope with the challenges that life can bring, helping them to be more able to give their own children the best possible start to their own lives.

In 1981 the Health Visiting Team in Royston became aware of the Home-Start model. Recognising the benefit Home-Start could bring to the local community, a steering committee was formed, led by Beverley Turner (Bev). 

We asked Bev, who is still an incredible supporter of Home-Start today, to give us her thoughts about the proposal to set up a Home-Start in Royston. Bev told us, “The steering committee was set up in November 1981 following a meeting when Margaret Harrison came to talk about the Home-Start scheme in Leicester. At that time, Royston was very much a community reliant on volunteer organisations to supplement statutory services, something that remains the same today. Our health visiting team realised that vulnerable families needed more time on a one-to-one basis than Health Visitors could offer due to the pressures of large caseloads. It took another 2 years to secure official funding, but during that time, we ran a volunteer training course and appointed an interim co-ordinator to help get the initiative up and running.

In 1983 Home-Start Royston was officially in business.

Home-Start Royston began in a small upstairs room in the Royston Health Centre, moving to its current base in Meldreth in 2008 to accommodate the charity’s growth. The charity has grown geographically over the years, expanding services into South Cambridgeshire and, more recently, Buntingford. 

I’ve been so impressed by Home-Start and what it aims to achieve. The training course was excellent, and I realise I have a lot more I can learn as a result. I can’t wait to get started.

Quote from a volunteer about the training they received

Help us celebrate our anniversary

And so, to mark Home-Start’s 40th anniversary, over the next year, we will be taking every opportunity to celebrate the longevity and success of our charity – and we need your help to do so!

Tell your story

  • Have you got a story to share about Home-Start?
  • Were you a volunteer?
  • Did you receive Home-Start support for your family?
  • Did you work with Home-Start in some way, shape or form?

If you have a story about Home-Start Royston Buntingford & South Cambridgeshire to share, we would love to hear from you, so please get in touch!

The flexibility of the way in which Home-Start work to really meet each individual family’s needs is why their work is so effective.

Quote from a Referrer

Get involved with our anniversary fundraising

Maybe you could help us mark our special anniversary by getting involved with our fundraising. We have various exciting events planned for 2023, including our regular Literary Lunches, a 40th Anniversary concert, our annual Love Your Home-Start campaign and our Aquathon event, and we would love for you to join us. 

  • If you are a local business, you could make us your ‘Charity of the Year’ for 2023
  • You could get together with work colleagues or friends and take on a 40th-themed sponsored challenge
  • You could donate £40 in 2023 – £1 to mark each year of our existence?

40th Anniversary Fundraising Appeal – help us reach our target!

For 2023, we are asking for your help to raise £40,000 for this momentous milestone. And yes, that does sound like a lot, £1,000 for each year we have helped local families, but it’s less than a quarter of our fundraising target of £200,000 for the current financial year.

With your help, local businesses and organisations, philanthropists, and anyone who would like to make a difference in the lives of local families – we hope to reach our target by the end of the year.

We understand that the current cost of living is impacting everyone differently, so any size donation towards our target would be greatly appreciated. This money will be used to allow us to continue providing much-needed support to local families, helping parents give their children the best start in life.

Please take a moment to visit our fundraising page where you can make your donation and share your message of support, your memories of any Home-Start connection you may have from past years, photos, and so on. And don’t forget to share it with your family, friends and colleagues.

Get in touch…

These are just a few ways in which you can help, but the ideas list is endless – if you have ideas of your own about how to get involved, then we would LOVE to hear from you. Contact us today at 01763 262262 or email with your suggestions.

And don’t forget to keep your eye out on our website, social media, newsletters and posters locally for details about how we plan to celebrate and how you can be a part of our special year too!

We can’t thank you enough for being such a big part of my children’s lives and when they are 20 years old we will look back and be thankful of your support.

Quote from parents of a family supported by Home-Start
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