Hertfordshire family support charity’s emergency appeal amid coronavirus crisis raises £26k

Home-Start Hertfordshire provides support for young families struggling to cope, and its appeal for

Home-Start Hertfordshire provides support for young families struggling to cope, and its appeal for financial help during the coronavirus outbreak has so far raised £26,000. Picture: Pexels - Credit: Archant

A family support charity’s emergency appeal for financial help, after the coronavirus pandemic cut vital funding streams, has raised more than £26,000 so far.

Home-Start Hertfordshire, based in Stevenage, supports families who have at least one child under the age of five and are struggling for a variety of reasons, including disability, poverty, loneliness, mental or physical illness and multiple births.

Trained volunteers - all parents themselves - usually giving one-to-one support to families through home visits, but due to the coronavirus crisis the charity has been forced to suspend all home visits and family groups, and instead offer support via phone.

Critically, Home-Start Hertfordshire is also facing a financial struggle due to the pandemic, after having to cancel fundraising activities, events and collections across the county.

Last week this paper reported how the charity has launched an Emergency Fund Appeal. So far £26,215 has been donated.

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Strategic manager Suzy Moody said: “It’s amazing! We have had a fantastic response to our emergency appeal and the money is already making a difference. For instance, a mum called Charlotte suffers with anxiety. Her husband is a key worker and she has four children, including a four-week-old baby. She worries he will get the virus and pass it on to the family. Charlotte already struggled to leave the house, but now feels unable to leave even just to get fresh air. She is now receiving regular phone support from a volunteer mentor.

“Another mum receiving phone support told us ‘I feel safer and less alone knowing someone is thinking about me and keeping in touch.’

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“All donations go towards helping provide support for more families like Charlotte’s, who are struggling.

“We are overwhelmed by the support we have received and so grateful for all donations. They really do make a life-changing difference to families at this difficult time.”

Last year about £70,000 of Home-Start Hertfordshire’s funding - 26 per cent - came from fundraising and donations, so financial support is still needed through this emergency appeal.

To donate, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for ‘Home-Start Hertfordshire’ or send a cheque payable to Home-Start Hertfordshire to 5 Bedwell Park, Stevenage, SG1 1NB.

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