Dear Friend,

Home-Start has a 47-year history of helping families most in need in our communities. As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we remain as committed as ever to supporting parents – in their homes and communities – in the critical early years of childhood. Our work builds parental confidence and resilience, enhances attachment, and reduces community isolation. This transforms children’s lives in terms of their health and wellbeing and their emotional, social and educational development. 

We are seeing social distancing and isolation placing enormous strain on families. Families with particular pressures such as poor mental health, illness and low wages are being hit hard by the crisis. Home-Starts across the country have moved fast to provide support for these and other families affected. We have moved essential support services on-line to stay connected with families and our network of 1,000 locally based staff and 13,000 volunteers is playing an important part in local community response efforts across the UK – delivering essential supplies and linking families into local resources such as Foodbanks, meals, and public health services.

In the coming weeks and months, we will work harder than ever to find ways to make sure families continue to have the support they need. So much is changing so rapidly right now, but one fact remains – around 2000 babies are born each day in the UK. The practical and emotional demands of parenthood are challenging enough in normal times but the current pandemic adds so many additional layers of anxiety, uncertainty and isolation.

The next few months are going to change our communities for years to come. As we emerge from the current crisis, Home-Start volunteers will play a key part in the wider effort needed to bring families and communities together again.

Like many others, one of our biggest challenges will be securing the income we need to continue this vital work. Local Home-Starts are on the frontline of support yet are already facing substantial financial difficulties. We are taking decisive action wherever we can to reduce our costs without jeopardising the essential services which families depend on us to provide. But with shops closing, fundraising events being cancelled and longer-term grant funding at risk, many of our local services will face a significant drop in voluntary income in the next few months.

In response, Home-Start UK has launched a national Emergency Appeal to inspire individual donors, philanthropists, trust and foundations and companies to donate to Home-Start at this critical time.

We are grateful for the help of all our friends through this crisis. To come through it strong and be there for families both now and into the future we need you and all our supporters to stay connected with us, invest in our work as generously as you’re able, and, more than ever before, to spread the word – to your colleagues, friends and wider networks. Please believe it, your support and every action you take for us will make a difference.

If you would like to find out more about our work and how you can help please contact me at [email protected]

Thank you,

Peter Grigg

Home-Start UK CEO