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Here is a summary of who we are and what it is we do:
We help families in Cambridgeshire who have young children, by providing a volunteer to visit them in their own homes regularly for friendship and support.
Home-Start support helps to:
- Reduce family isolation and increase social support networks
- Strengthen parent-child relationships
- Improve parents’ emotional health and well-being
- Develop and improve parenting skills
- Improve the home environment
- Improve children’s health, well-being and development
- Increase access to health, education and community services
Home-Start Cambridgeshire is firmly rooted in the local community and is also managed by a Trustee Board drawn locally.
Our umbrella organisation, Home-Start UK, provides valuable guidance on policy, training, information and personal support, enabling Home-Start Cambridgeshire to respond to local needs, but have the quality of service derived from agreed national quality standards. We are, however, an independent charity, responsible for all our own fundraising. We aim to help to reconnect and reintegrate families with their community. Children, parents and the wider community all benefit from Home-Start Cambridgeshire’s work.
“Home-Start raises self-confidence, improves social networks, reduces difficult behaviour on the part of the child and improves mental and physical health” – Every Child Matters Government Green Paper.
Home-Start volunteers support families in a sensitive and flexible way. They share their time and friendship and work alongside parents, focusing on their strengths and offering families the opportunity to develop new relationships, ideas and skills. Supported parents are better able to engage in community life, to the benefit of themselves and their children.
Information about our current projects:
Home-Start Cambridgeshire covers the whole county.
We supported 135 families in 2016-2017 and 311 children.
93 % of parents said they felt less isolated following our support.
97% of parents said their children’s emotional health & wellbeing improved following our support.
98% felt more involved in their child’s learning and development following our support.
Please contact us if you have a query or wish to discuss a referral.
We have been successful in securing funds to enable us to deliver many projects, some are ‘pilots’ which we hope to expand upon in the future.
BBC Children In Need project in Fenland
We have employed a co-ordinator to work across Fenland and develop a group in Wisbech. This funding will support many parents with mental health, isolation and well being needs. It is across three years which will enable us to establish the group and achieve positive outcomes and data to support the work we do.
Hand in Hand project in Huntingdonshire
This project is in partnership with Norpip, a charity based in Northampton branching into Cambridgeshire. This service will provide mothers with clinical therapy and/or a Home-Start volunteer. We have employed a co-ordinator to work with this project in Huntingdonshire.
Big Hopes Big Futures
We are running a ‘pilot’ in South Cambs to support children and parents with the transition into school or nursery. We are working in partnership with Home-Start Royston and South Cambs to deliver this. Funding has been provided by South Cambs District Council.
What some of our families say:
“It has enabled me to be a better Mum because of the support I have had.”
“My volunteer was like the hand that supports a toddler’s first steps… Home-Start reminded me that, without me taking care of myself, I wouldn’t be able to care for others.”
“When Home-Start became part of my life, I was still in the hardest part of recovering from mental illness. I had a young daughter who was getting very active and needing a lot of entertaining, when I barely felt able to take care of myself, and a husband who was studying full-time at university. On top of this we were newly married and young parents. For months at a time I would not leave the house, nor speak to anyone outside the family.
Then I met my Home-Start co-ordinator. At once she made me feel at ease and always had some advice to offer that was both relevant and practical. No matter how lost I felt, she always had ideas of things or people that might help. After a few months of working with Home-Start, we felt I was ready to join the Home-Start support group. As my confidence and self-esteem grew… I have come to rely on myself a lot more. I am certain that, without the compassion and practical help I received at the group, I would not be in this position.
As an individual and as a family, we have moved from strength to strength. My husband graduated from university and has a good job in London. Our daughter is blossoming and I have done a great many things that I thought I would never do… I am coming off my medication, I am negotiating my return to university and learning to drive.”
“Our volunteer has given our children confidence and freedom to be themselves.”
“Just knowing that, on a certain day, I would have a second pair of hands was wonderful and a great help to all of us.”
“She (the volunteer) was a regular part of the children’s lives, so I knew that they trusted her… It was the regularity that made it such a support – something to look forward to when things were difficult.”