Home-Start East Surrey – supporting families during COVID-19 pandemic

Home-Start East Surrey has been supporting a single mum living in the local area, with 4 children under 11 years old, for approximately a year. She was referred by her Health Visitor as she had low maternal mood and had fled from an abusive relationship.

Home-Start East Surrey has been supporting a single mum living in the local area, with 4 children under 11 years old, for approximately a year. She was referred by her Health Visitor as she had low maternal mood and had fled from an abusive relationship.

Over the year, Home-Start East Surrey has helped the family access clothing, toys and baby equipment, as well as foodbank vouchers. We have also supported mum to access nursery places, further education and volunteering opportunities. We have also liaised with the local Family Centre for the family to access counselling due to the previous domestic abuse.

During the Covid-19 crisis mum has been finding it very difficult being on her own, especially as she has been advised to ‘shield’ for 12 weeks, due to an underlying health condition. The volunteer continues her support by making weekly FaceTime calls to the family and has offered to help the children with their schoolwork if needed as she used to be a teacher.  A member of our Home-Start East Surrey team, who supports both the family and the family’s regular volunteer, is also in regular phone contact with the mum as well as providing her with foodbank vouchers and items for the children. In addition, we have also been able to source via one of the charity’s trustees a laptop for the two older children which will greatly help with their completing their schoolwork. At a recent review phone call mum is trying to keep positive but has good and bad days at this difficult time.

I am a Trustee for Home-Start East Surrey, which is a Surrey charity providing emotional and practical help to parents with at least one child under five years old.

Being a trustee has given me invaluable strategic experience and the opportunity to work with brilliant people, from all sorts of different careers, who I would not have otherwise met through my day job.  It is also fantastic to know I am supporting an organisation offering much needed help to families in my local area.

The grant we have received from L&G’s Community Fund really will be transformative for the charity during these difficult times. It will enable the charity to assist families via telephone services as our trained volunteers - who usually do house visits - will be able to continue to offer support across a wide range of difficulties such as isolation, mental health and parenting issues.

Emma Hill


Home-Start East Surrey

In order to give children the best possible start in life, Home-Start helps families going through difficult times, whether because of bereavement, illness or disability of the child or the parent, post-natal depression, family breakdown, loneliness and isolation, or stress in coping with a number of young children.

Our committed and caring volunteers are parents themselves. They are trained and carefully matched with a family. Volunteers visit families at home each week offering non-judgemental support, friendship, emotional and practical help. Each Volunteer is supervised by our experienced Home-Visiting Co-ordinators.  By offering friendship, support and practical help, Volunteers enable parents to grow in confidence, strengthen their relationships with their children and widen their links with the local community.

To find out more, visit their website here

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