Home-Start UK

As part of our exciting #MakeitCount campaign, we’re thrilled to highlight the incredible work of some fantastic charities using easyfundraising. We want to highlight a remarkable charity committed to helping families with young children survive these turbulent times and give young children the right start in order to thrive and grow, Home-Start UK.

We spoke to Carole Gardner, Fundraising Income and Support Officer from Home-Start and here is what she said:

“I thought my children would be taken away from me because I couldn’t afford to heat the house.”

This unimaginable dilemma and this painful thought for any parent is now, worryingly, a growing concern for many parents across the UK. The escalating cost-of-living crisis and the pandemic amongst other household traumas such as bereavement, illness and financial instability means it is now more than ever that we see families struggling for even the basics.

Who are Home-Start?

Home-Start, our cause of the fortnight, is a family support charity committed to helping families with young children survive these turbulent times and give young children the right start in order to thrive and grow. With 180 Home Starts across the UK and assisting 22,000 families each year, Home-Start provides support visits to families at breaking point. Offering support and reducing the sources of stress are the golden threads running through the work of Home Start. Their volunteers offer guidance to families for as long as is necessary, in order to build confidence and develop avenues of coping during these pressing times.

What is Home-Start’s motivation?

Their motivation is simple yet critical. It is no surprise that children with unstable and underprivileged beginnings are more likely to suffer poor academic achievement, low self-esteem and limited employment prospects. And with an estimated 31% of families living in poverty, and 3.5 million parents in England alone unable to access vital early years services, the outlook could seem bleak for many young children.

What challenges are Home-Start facing?

Ironically, Home-Start itself is also victim to the devastating factors that affect so many of their families. Although aspiring to assist 200,000 families each year, the influx of those in need has radically increased in the last two years. For Home-Start, the pandemic has meant unbearably stretched resources, and the hiking costs had led to an increased difficulty in fundraising efforts. As a result of this double blow, many of the local Home-Starts are becoming progressively concerned for their survival.

Mother & baby craft group in the family room at the HomeStart UK West Lothian project on the 22nd of April 2022 in Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom. (Picture by Andy Aitchison / HomeStartUK)

How will donations help Home-Start?

Due to the current economic climate, we currently see more families than ever using food banks and struggling to pay to heat their homes, or even cover the costs of their rent or mortgages. This experience for many can lead to isolation, depression and a worryingly stressful and toxic environment for young children, severely impeding their ability to thrive and succeed.

While the funding does not provide monetary solutions to families, it does allow for a greater increase in resources and support workers, particularly as the need increases across the UK. Volunteers are on hand to visit families within their homes, provide access to local support and offer companionship and advice to those struggling with isolation and the fear that there is no way out of their situation.

All donations will help the upscaling of Home Start’s support services – a necessity at this time in the UK. Home Start know that assisting families in developing their core skills means for a happy and healthy environment in which they can nurture their children in the best way possible.

Advice for donors?

As we know, using easyfundraising is simple to do and has no extra cost to donors. By simply choosing Home Start as your chosen cause when doing your regular online shopping through the website, you know you’ll be promoting the happiness and survival of thousands of families and young children across the UK. By donating little and often through easyfundraising, you really are giving children the best start in life and setting them up for a brighter future.

To keep in the loop about how our donations are assisting families across the UK, please read, share and subscribe to Home Start’s communications (blogs, emails and social media), and see real-life families who have benefitted from their services.

Go to the easyfundraising website then search for your local branch – start your search with Home-Start. If you don’t find your local branch just support Home-Start UK.