Home-Start Guernsey provides local family support

July 15th, 2013 by Home-Start Guernsey

Patron Mrs Lynda Walker cutting the 5th anniversary cake with Jurat Margaret Spaargaren (click image to expand - image courtesy of Home Start)

Guernsey Home-Start patron Mrs Lynda Walker cutting the 5th anniversary cake with Jurat Margaret Spaargaren (click image to expand – image courtesy of Home-Start Guernsey)

Local family support charity Home-Start Guernsey is celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2013.

The local branch is affiliated to the national charity that has been established for 40 years.

The charity’s aim is to support a wide range of families across the island that have been affected by poverty, illness or disability, or just need support.

At Home Start’s recent Annual General Meeting, the committee presented a large anniversary cake to celebrate this landmark year.

Mrs Lynda Walker, wife of His Excellency Lt. Governor Peter Walker, who has been sympathetic to the aims of the charity for some years, was invited to make a presentation to trustees and supporters.

She spoke of the fulfilment and rewarding friendships that volunteers benefit from through their involvement.

She acknowledged the importance of the emotional and practical support that Home-Start is able to offer families.

Jurat Margaret Spaargaren, Chair of the Guernsey branch, said ‘‘over four years ago, Nancy Ogier, who is now a trustee, was the first volunteer to be matched with a family.”

“Five years on, 104 of our volunteers have worked with 56 Guernsey families.”

“We are filling a genuine gap for providing invaluable support for families who are struggling to cope.”

“Our volunteers also benefit from knowing they have made a real difference to someone’s life,” Jurat Spaargaren said.

Home-Start recruits volunteers who are parents themselves that visit families experiencing stressful times.

These volunteers work with families in a variety of situations including isolation, bereavement, multiple births, poverty, illness or disability by simply encouraging parent’s strengths and emotional well-being for the benefit of their children.

The charity offers a unique blend of support and friendship achieved by home visiting.

Support can be practical or emotional, but is always free, confidential and non-judgmental.

The fact that a number of families refer themselves and that parents who have been supported by Home-Start sometimes go on to be volunteers themselves, speaks for itself.

Home-Start Guernsey is based at the Roseville Community Centre where its co-ordinators recruit and train volunteers and match them with families who are supported by weekly home visits. For more information email home-startgsy@live.co.uk or visit the Home-Start Guernsey website.


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