Cheers and celebration as family support group rises from ashes in Hitchin

Disappointed families after the previous group was forced to close

Disappointed families after the previous group was forced to close - Credit: Archant

It’s official! A much-needed new family group for parents has risen from the ashes after being forced to close because of budget cuts – thanks to the dedication of a special woman and her army of volunteers and helpers.

The Family Matters community group to support parents and children has been formed by Charmaine Rogers in the wake of the demise of the Family Group, part of Home-Start North Herts.

That project had to close after Herts County Council funding cuts but now Charmaine and others have dusted themselves down and started again.

Charmaine said: “We were all very disappointed when Family Group closed, but I am absolutely delighted to have had the opportunity to establish a new community initiative involving a nurturing and learning group for parents and young children.

“Family Matters is committed to positively supporting parents to help their children reach key milestones in preparation for nursery and preschool.”

The group, which will be officially launched tomorrow, Friday, will be based at the Oughton Children’s Centre in Mattocke and has already fielded a clutch of referrals.

Charmaine said: “I could not have got this exciting project off the ground without the support of county councillors Judi Billing, Derek Ashley and David Barnard who have who provided funding – as well as a parent, Simon Watson, who encouraged the vision we shared.

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“Jacquie Hine has also played a pivotal role with the guidance on securing funding.

“And our group couldn’t run without my trusted, loyal and experienced volunteers who have a wealth of knowledge about life and community matters – and long arms to wrap around a parent or child needing a hug and comfort if they’re finding life a bit tough. Everyone is so positive, it’s a pleasure and a real privilege to coordinate such an inspiring group.

The launch is tomorrow at 11am and there’s an open invitation to anyone who would like to come along and find out more.