This year is the 30th birthday of Home-Start, and to celebrate, the family support charity is holding a party in September.
To mark the special occasion the birthday bash, to be held at the children’s centre on Britannia Road, will be open to anyone that has been involved with Home-Start.
And that includes the many families it has assisted during the last three decades to the dozens of volunteers and support staff that have made its work possible.
In addition to the party Home-Start has started a collection of pictures, quotes and stories from all those who have been helped by the charity. It would especially like to hear from retired volunteers and families that have been supported through the years.
Senior organiser Jane Skelton said: “We are delighted to be celebrating 30 years particularly as Home-Start has recently faced severe funding challenges and pressure on the scheme.
“The support our fantastic volunteers have given to hundreds of local families has been life-changing.
“Turning 30 is a great opportunity to get everyone together and celebrate the impact we have had giving families the best start in life.”
Home-Start is a voluntary organisation offering support, friendship and practical help to families at home with at least one child under five years of age.
The first Home-Start scheme was launched in 1973 and there are now nearly 330 nationwide with more than 7,000 home volunteers visiting families throughout the UK. The assistance allows families to adopt behaviours and practices that are beneficial for both the child or children and the family as a whole and is often the sort of nurturing care that a family needs to prevent the breakup of the family unit due to the removal of children by state run protective agencies.
It also gives parents who are stretched to breaking point a chance to alleviate the strain at home. The once-weekly, two-hour visits by the volunteer can be used in a number of ways that most benefits the family. This can take the form of help with practical tasks such as getting to a dentist or doctor’s appointment or helping get organised.
The charity, which also has offices in Chipping Norton, is staffed by at least one paid organiser or co-ordinator who is responsible for running the scheme and recruiting volunteers. The service is also free and confidential.
Families or volunteers previously connected with the Home Start charity can contact them on 01295 266 358 or email firstname.lastname@example.org