Charity Home-Start Hertfordshire launches emergency appeal after funding cut due to coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 08:30 26 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:39 30 March 2020
A family support charity has launched an emergency appeal for financial help because the coronavirus outbreak has cut vital funding streams.
Home-Start Hertfordshire supports families who have at least one child under the age of five and are struggling with disability, poverty, mental illness, multiple births - the list goes on.
There are 124 trained volunteers - all parents themselves - usually giving one-to-one support through home visits to 127 families. However, Home-Start Hertfordshire has had to suspend all home visits and family groups due to the coronavirus crisis.
Home-Start is also facing a financial struggle and is appealing to people for help.
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Strategic manager Suzy Moody said: “Home-Start took the difficult decision to suspend all home visiting and family groups last week. This decision was not taken lightly. Parents come to us overwhelmed and at breaking point. Sixty per cent of the families we support are experiencing loneliness, isolation and mental health issues. This crisis is only going to make this situation worse.
“Our staff and dedicated volunteer family mentors continue to provide consistent support by telephone for vulnerable parents - providing reassurance and practical support. This can be lifesaving for parents who have reached breaking point.”
She continued: “We need your help. This crisis will place a considerable strain on our resources. One of our income streams has already taken a big hit, with the cancellation of fundraising activities, events and collections across Hertfordshire. These activities usually raise £33,000 each year. The impact of this loss is that 30 families will go without Home-Start support.
“Please consider supporting some of the most vulnerable families in Hertfordshire through this incredibly difficult period by donating to our Emergency Fund Appeal.
“I am determined we must continue to be there for these families over the weeks and months to come, when they will need us more than ever before.”
To donate, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for ‘Home-Start Hertfordshire’ or send a cheque made payable to Home-Start Hertfordshire to 5 Bedwell Park, Stevenage, SG1 1NB.