We are a small, independent local charity but part of a UK-wide network of similar Home-Start schemes with a central body, Home-Start UK. We have 65 volunteers and supported 150 families and 321 children last year.
We help families in the Guildford borough who have at least one child under 6 and who have problems and are finding it difficult to cope. Problems confronting these families range widely: eg- postnatal depression, isolation,illness or disability of child or parent, multiple births, bereavement, domestic or emotional abuse, family breakdown. About a third of our cases have complex needs. Our volunteers support the families with regular visits to their homes. Through their visits, the volunteers help parents find ways of coping better with their problems, build their confidence and encourage new parenting skills.In over 80% of cases we make a significant difference to the families through early intervention.We also run Family Groups for families at Pirbright army camp and on the Bellfields estate in Guildford. Our headline mission statement is 'Parents helping parents to give their children the best possible start in life'.
We are a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (no:1154609) which protects trustees from personal liabilities. Details of previous accounts etc are still available under the charity number above.
We are part of Home-Start Surrey, a consortium of all Surrey schemes which has a contract with Surrey County Council.
Our staff recruit and train volunteers to provide help and support to the families through regular visits to their homes. They match families referred to us - generally by Health Visitors or Social Workers - with a volunteer and then monitor the progress of our support through regular reports and meetings with the volunteers and also with the families. They liaise closely with referrers as necessary.
The volunteers offer one-to-one support for parents tailored to the needs of the family with regular visits each week for a morning or an afternoon and for as long as support is needed. On average support lasts 9-12 months.
The weekly (in term-time) Family Group at Pirbright helps army mums on the camp who are often a long way away from their own families and whose husbands are often abroad. The Group helps to build new friendships and reduce isolation as well as providing advice and support.. The new Family Group in Bellfields, Guildford fulfils a similar purpose.
Home-Start UK provides a framework of policies and Quality Assurance which we follow.
We currently have contracts with both Surrey County Council and the Surrey Heartlands CCG. These contracts provide about one third of our running costs and we have to find the rest ,about £100,000,ourselves. We generally get around £40k from trusts and grant-giving bodies and raise additional amounts through events.