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“The statutory services are often driven by crisis and fail to provide a preventative service…… Home-Start is a key worker in prevention….. Conducting the Climbié enquiry has demonstrated how important it is to use the community to try to prevent crisis.”  Lord Laming, CBE

Our families, from all corners of the large area of Uttlesford, need help for a range of reasons - they may have recent twin or triplet births, they may be living in a rural and isolated position with little or no transport, or have immediate, short term problems or longer term issues that mean they need someone to share their troubles with. We are here to try to help, without judgement or prejudice.

We support families in Carver Barracks, whose partners are away in foreign parts, facing danger daily. We work with the Army support agencies to ensure that children and parents have stability and support in difficult times.

Testimonials from our families

This is what some of our families have said:

‘I cannot thank you enough for helping my son and I get back on our feet. I thought that there was no-one to help me, no light at the end of our tunnel; but you are our light, you held out a hand to a complete stranger and in my book that takes a lot! My son is happy and that makes me happy! Thank you.’

‘Thank you for everything that you have done for me and my son, the love and kindness we’ve had from you have given me the confidence to do and have everything I can wish for in life.’

‘Please know you have all had a hand in turning them into the lovely rounded boys they are today.’

‘Thursday is my favourite day of the week – I have Family Group in the day and my volunteer when I get home – I really look forward to it.’

Testimonials from our Volunteers

A Volunteer writes:

'Variety is the spice of Home-Start; it’s kept me volunteering for 13 years! I’ve met so many different types of family; I’ve seen parents struggling with illness or depression and I’ve seen wonderful parenting from mothers who had the worst possible starts themselves. It’s interesting and humbling to be welcomed into a family’s life.
Our training courses reflect the wide range of family circumstances that volunteers come across and the different types of support offered to families. I’ve learned about post-natal depression, child mental health, child behaviour and play among many subjects. It’s been great to feel a more confident volunteer. We have a yearly ‘Thank You’ day with a chance to try new activities ranging from magic to reflexology and zumba.
I now qualify as an old lag, but I still need the support of the staff! They encourage me and put me on the right track: a big thank you to them. Knowing that you can’t solve a family’s problems isn’t easy, but at the end of the day I like to think they know that I care about them and keep them in mind.
With these thoughts (and the odd treat here and there!) I have a bit more volunteering in me yet.'

A volunteer who moved out of the area said:

‘The main part I will miss when I move to a new area is the family that I have been visiting over the last 6 months’

Testimonials from our Referrers

in 2009: Through the eyes of a Health Visitor:

I have been working in Saffron Walden as a health visitor since the scheme began 25 years ago. It is a unique service that all health visitors working in this locality value highly. We have very few agencies that assist our work with families in this area; Home-Start provides support and back up for the families we visit. Over the last few years we have encountered more families with complex needs, so Home-Start has had to embrace these issues within their daily work: volunteers work tirelessly giving up their time to provide support to the families they visit. A further valued provision is the weekly Family Groups. Organisers and volunteers create a safe environment for parents and children who attend. Home-Start is a service that, as health visitors and nursery nurses, we will continue to use and hope that it grows and develops into the future.
in 2010: ‘I am sure that you have had a wonderful year following your Silver Jubilee celebration last year. I would like to thank Home-Start formally for all the help and support given to families at the Barracks throughout last year. We look forward to receiving the same level of support in the future.’ Captain (Retd) Gau Gurung, Unit Welfare Officer, Carver Barracks

Testimonials from one of our Funders

One of our regular funders wrote:

‘I am writing on behalf of the Trustees of Mulberry Trust, to thank you for your excellent report.
Trustees were pleased to read how their grant had assisted your vital work.’

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