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Daily Mail: The vital lesons we all have to learn about cash

23.08.14

Schoolchildren will finally be educated about how to manage money from next month as personal finance makes it on to the compulsory list of topics to be taught in school. Young people are set to find out about mortgages and pensions, as well as how to save and spot a cost-effective deal. But the classroom is not the only place that children can learn about money. Laura Shannon speaks to teachers, parents and pupils about personal finance and looks at the lessons that everyone needs to learn.

... A report by national charity Home-Start and Lloyds Bank reveals that half of more than 2,300 adults polled for its study did not discuss personal finance with their families when they were children. And nearly a third still believe it is inappropriate to include children in such discussions.

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Liverpool Echo: computer whizz Ralph wins national award

29.07.14

Computer whiz-kid Ralph Smith was desperate to find work but his Asperger’s syndrome, which makes it hard for him to relate to people, made it impossible to find a role that suited him.

Now, Ralph, 22, has won a prestigious national award in recognition of his voluntary work at Home Start Wirral’s charity shop in Claughton Village. Ralph was found a work placement at the store by Wirral Autistic Society’s Step into Work Plus scheme.The scheme prepares young adults with Asperger’s syndrome for the world of work through mentoring, specialist training and work placement opportunities.

Ralph told staff at Home Start Wirral that he liked working with computers, rather than dealing with people face-to-face, so they thought he might like to help sort through donated books, selling the valuable volumes on-line.

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The Guardian: To protect children, they must always be the priority

16.7.14

Sometimes the sense that we are standing in the wrong place to see what's really happening turns out not to be a sad personality defect, but the truth. It is often easier to grasp with hindsight. For example, it is really not difficult to look back and be horrified at the slowly building evidence of establishment complicity – at best – in a child abuse ring that involved public figures, and wonder why it seemed more important to protect the adults and the system in which they prospered than the children who were their victims.

But it takes a greater effort of imagination to see that while, for example, enabling parents to return to work is important, if the focus was on the wellbeing of children first and foremost, then priorities might be slightly altered. What if the political attention paid to affordable and available childcare, or violence against women, began rather than ended with the question of "what about the children?". Would it change the spending priorities if the first objective of policy was to make sure that children have safe places to live and play, enough good food to eat and support when a family crisis strikes?

When it so often feels that women are an afterthought in policymaking, to suggest children should come first might appear to be wilful obstructionism (or just daft). But according to a new survey by the charity Home Start, which befriends struggling families at home and is producing its first ever manifesto tomorrow, even these basic preconditions of wellbeing – warm dry homes, safe, protected places to play, nutritious meals – are missing from the lives of many of the families it helps, making it all the harder to sustain stable relationships.

The UK notoriously languishes in the bottom half of Unicef's annual estimates of children's wellbeing in rich countries. Each year, the Children's Society's good childhood report identifies the cornerstones of happiness: feeling safe at home, being part of a stable family, and free from bullying at school. What a devastating reflection of this government's effort that these simple essentials are still missing from people's lives.

It seems clear that the way policy is targeted now is still failing the most vulnerable families. Part of the reason is money. So many children's services are delivered by local councils that it is no surprise that they have been under cruel pressure – particular smaller voluntary sector organisations like Home Start, where local groups have been engaged in a fight for survival that has not always been successful.

But the less money there is, the more priorities tell. Of all the UK, England is sclerotically slow, last to institute a children's commissioner, still foot-dragging over child detention, still clinging to a Victorian approach to the age of criminal responsibility and still, we are now horribly aware, prepared to sacrifice some of the most vulnerable children to preserve the face of the establishment. It is the poorest children, inevitably, who are the most exposed. But all children suffer from their low visibility to policymakers.

Yet the new sensitivity to what was formerly a matter to brush behind the brocade sofas of gentleman's clubs suggests a change could be on the way. Home Start is only one of several charities that is setting out to influence policy. At the beginning of the week the childcare charity 4Children organised a session in parliament to try to force children's policies onto the pre-election manifesto-writing agenda.

If something good was to come out of the long-delayed exposure to the abuse of children in the 70s and 80s – along with some justice for the victims – it would be to jolt policymakers out of the mindset that if you look after the parents, the children will be looked after too.

York Press: Home-Start saved thanks to Lottery

4.6.14

A CHARITY which supports struggling families across Ryedale has been given a major financial boost which will enable it to both continue and expand its work. Home-Start Ryedale, which is based in Norton, has been awarded a £283,170 grant from The BIG Lottery Reaching Communities Fund.

Set up in 2007, the charity recruits and trains parent volunteers to support families who are finding it hard to cope for any reason. During the past year it has supported 42 families, with a total of 86 children, across Ryedale - double the demand of the previous 12 months.

Jo Oliver, coordinator at Home-Start Ryedale, said the five- year Lottery grant would be used to help fund their running costs and also to extend the service into southern Ryedale.

“We feel extremely privileged that the BIG Lottery can see the benefits our project will bring to children and families throughout the area," she added.

"In a time when many charities are facing uncertain financial futures, to receive funds to continue our service for another five years is absolutely amazing news – we can’t believe how well our efforts have paid off. This funding will enable us to recruit some new members of staff to join our small team – something we haven’t been able to do until now.”

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South Wales Echo: Home-Start Dinefwr volunteers commended at Welsh Assembly

30.5.14

Staff from Ammanford based Home-Start Dinefwr have been awarded for their years of dedicated work to the charity.

At a 30th Anniversary Event at the Senedd Welsh Assembly, First Minister Carwyn Jones presented certificates to Sandra, who has volunteered for the last 17 years and Elizabeth and Carole, who have both volunteered for 13 years.

They were also joined by Betsan Powys, Rob Parkinson CEO of Home-Start UK and volunteers and staff from schemes from across Wales. A spokesman from Home-Start Dinefwr said the women have given so much to the community. “Home-Start Dinefwr has been serving the community since 1995 and we are very grateful to all our volunteers past and present,” she said.


Just occasionally it is good to take work home... results of a relaxing Sunday making pompoms in #SnowflakeAppeal colours for this week's The Handmade Fair..
by Home-Start UK
on 15/09/2014 03:45
Home-Start Portsmouth shared this great quote from a supported mum: 'You have no idea what a difference your support has made to my life, it's been such a positive journey, I feel like me again.' That's the impact #HomeStart has on lives!
by Home-Start UK
on 15/09/2014 10:00
11 Home-Starts across England & Wales are nominated for @AskLloydsBank #CommFund awards and 2 Scottish Home-Starts are up for the @AskBankOfScot equivalent. See more and vote for English/Welsh Home-Starts below. While the Scottish info can be found at http://bit.ly/YpNLkb
by Home-Start UK
on 14/09/2014 08:30
Cute Friday afternoon video alert: Being a parent of multiples on a good day (also, what a fab table!)
by Home-Start UK
on 12/09/2014 02:30
We'd love for you to join us at www.www.doitforcharity.com's Santa Run at Victoria Park in #London on 7 December. It's great fun, the 5k or 10k distances are very achieveable and most importantly... ALL RUNNERS GET A FREE SANTA SUIT!
by Home-Start UK
on 11/09/2014 11:00

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