Lockdown is inevitably a struggle for us all, but those with young families to support who may also be facing the loss of income on top of all the other worries of COVID-19 can face unique struggles. As some of the first recipients of the Voluntary Services Emergency Fund, Home-Start Cymru are hoping they can lend a helping hand.
Home-Start Cymru came into being as a result of the merger of seven smaller, local Home-Starts in 2019. They work with families with young children through a volunteer-led, home-visiting model of support that combines a network of community-based volunteers from across Wales with professional expertise.
Being a parent is challenging at the best of times, and families are under more pressure in the current crisis situation where they are increasingly isolated. That’s where Home-Start Cymru come in – they have adapted their home-visiting to remote support, with volunteers making regular contact by phone / video messaging to offer emotional support during this difficult time.
Volunteers are drawn from the communities in which they support, and the work makes a vital difference not just to families, but it helps give them a sense of purpose, as well as reconnecting communities.
Bethan Webber, Chief Executive at Home-Start Cymru said ‘We are delighted to have received support through VSEF which will enable us to expand this vital support and reach more families who desperately need us. As well as rolling out more remote support, the funding will enable us to safely establish a doorstep delivery service providing vital food and supplies to families that are stranded at home and unable to access the basic items they need.’
Home-Start volunteers come from many different backgrounds. All will undertake Home-Start training before beginning to support families. You can see more of their good work at https://www.home-start.org.uk/volunteer-stories
If your organisation needs funding to provide vital support to groups such as: people in isolation, the elderly, carers, people struggling to access food etc so that they can be supported during this crisis, please consider applying to VSEF.