Celebrating Triumphs: A Year-End Boost for Home-Start’s Mission

In 2023, HSRBSC achieved two significant funding successes that we are excited to share with our Home-Start network.

First up was the Postcode Places Trust. You can imagine our absolute joy when we heard from this charity, funded entirely by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, that Home-Start had been awarded a game-changing grant of £21,961. This isn’t just funding; it’s a testament to the belief in our cause and the power of community support.

Secondly, in December 2023, our charity participated in The Big Give Christmas Challenge for the first time. This is a highly popular and impactful matched funding opportunity that takes place annually across the UK. For one week only in December, any donations made to Home-Start through the Big Give platform are matched, effectively doubling the amount received. As a result of this campaign, we were able to raise an impressive £6,423, including gift aid, thanks to the incredible generosity of our supporters.

The funding from these two initiatives will enable Home-Start to provide crucial home-visiting support to 19 local families in need. As we continue to see an increase in demand for our family support services, it’s important to note that each family requires an average cost of £1,500 over a nine-month period for the home-visiting support provided by our team of volunteers.

At Home-Start, our mission is to improve the health and well-being of families and reduce isolation. We understand that many parents face tough challenges during their parenting journey, and sometimes, all they need is a helping hand to make a difference.

Why support matters: Kelly’s story

Take Kelly, for example, who was referred to Home-Start by her health visitor as she was struggling with exhaustion and overwhelming emotions. Living at home with her husband and eight-week-old twins, Kelly found it difficult to even find time for self-care, like taking a shower. With the twins constantly needing attention, Kelly and her husband were both exhausted, taking turns to feed the babies at night.

That’s when our volunteer Jenny stepped in to visit Kelly at home every week for a few months. With a kind and reliable presence, Jenny provided a listening ear and a helpful hand without any expectations.

By the time her support from Home-Start ended, Kelly felt like a new person, saying: “The support we’ve had from Jenny and Kate (co-ordinator) has been invaluable. It’s helped me feel like a person again whilst I adjusted to life with two tiny humans. Knowing I had two hours of support every week took the pressure off feeling like I had to have everything up to date. If I didn’t get the washing put away, I could do it on Wednesday. It meant I could have an uninterrupted shower, or a nap, or doom scroll on my phone…

I definitely did all of those things, and many more, but I was always relaxed. I knew my babies were safe. We will miss [Jenny], but it’s time for her to help another family. Thank you Jenny.”

Our impact: Transforming families, changing lives

We understand the importance of measuring the impact of our work with families – it helps us demonstrate the difference our support makes.

We achieve this by asking parents to rate themselves on various needs at the beginning, middle, and end of their Home-Start journey. Last year, of the families that Home-Start worked with, and following support we had given them:

  • 85% said that their mental health had improved,
  • 85% felt less isolated,
  • 81% said they had better self-esteem, and
  • 74% felt less stressed.

Not only are these pretty impressive statistics but they are also supported by the powerful words captured from the parents we support, such as:

I meant to message yesterday to say how amazing [my volunteer] had been, thank you! She was incredible at playing with [my son], he loved all the games. She magically got him to do tidy up time too, which I can never do! It made a huge difference, thank you. I was able to get so much admin done for his assessment, allergies and school applications.

Home-Start supported parent

My volunteer made me feel valued and accepted. I feel better able to handle things because she continues to support me and my mental health. My experience has been wonderful. I was in a very sad place at the time I started with Home-Start; I feel very taken care of and supported.

Home-Start supported parent
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