Home-Start Chichester & District provides support and friendship to vulnerable and isolated families. Through informal and confidential support, we aim to improve the emotional and physical wellbeing of families, parenting skills and the opportunities for young children to thrive, particularly for those aged five and under. Home-Start believes that the first five years of a child’s development determine their life chances and aims to prevent families from falling into a crisis situation.
The charity has a team of fully trained and supported volunteers who are carefully matched with a family depending on their skills and the family’s needs. Examples of support that a volunteer may give, range from helping with menu planning for healthy eating on a budget, taking children out to play and encouraging parents to make use of local amenities such as the toy library and nurseries as well as signposting them to other support networks such as debt counselling or Citizens Advice Bureau.
On average a volunteer will stay with a family for nine months. Home-Start Chichester and District’s aim is to encourage families towards independence so that a volunteer is no longer needed. The charity also runs family groups and arranges social events to give less confident parents the chance to meet other parents in a supported group environment.