Home-Start has been running an emergency Cost-of-Living Crisis Appeal and your support, in times of real hardship, has helped provide an incredible safety net for many families.

Thanks to you a mum fleeing her violent home was given a phone and credit to keep her safe.

Thanks to you a baby who slept in a travel cot and was given a comfortable new cot bed linen to keep him warm at night.

Thanks to you a toddler who had to play under a blanket to keep out the cold, was able to attend a warm space every week where she could freely roam. 

Thanks to you Family groups run by local Home-Starts to reduce isolation and loneliness quickly became warm sanctuaries for thousands of families living in cold and damp homes. A place where they could watch their children play in a comfortable environment, without the stress and anxiety of how much the heating was costing.

Alice's story:

Mum-of-three Alice Morris, describes attending Home-Start Cymru family support groups as a ‘weekly escape from life’ during the cost of living crisis. “It’s so nice to be in a warm place where I don’t have to worry about how much electricity is being used. My son is able to play on the floor and doesn’t have to be under a blanket the whole time. The group has become our weekly escape from life.”

Just as food prices started to rise, Alice’s four-year old son was diagnosed with a milk allergy, putting further pressure on the family’s food bills. "Having to avoid milk meant we were no longer able to buy the budget biscuits, cheese or yoghurts. We now have to get the ‘free from’ items but they are a lot more expensive".

I have to put items back when shopping

As the items go through the scanner I keep my eyes on the till screen. If my shopping is over £25, I’ll have to put items back. Every week I hope I’ve calculated it correctly. Shopping now makes me feel more anxious than ever before.

Alice was initially referred to Home-Start Cymru because of her struggles with anxiety that were stopping her from leaving the house. She struggled with negative thoughts and had low confidence. While she was nervous about attending the group at first, she soon felt at home.

“The group has done so much to build up my confidence, and I’ve been inspired by the amazing women I’ve met and become friends with. One of the ladies runs her own small business selling handmade items at a pop-up shop in town. She encouraged me to give it a go and I’ve just started my own business selling knitted hairbands.”

Nothing left to cut back on

Alice is hopeful that her new business will help ease the family finances a little. “We’re at a point where there is nothing left to cut back on. We use reusable nappies, I make my own baby wet wipes and we wear lots of layers at home so we don’t have to put on the heating.”

Home-Start is like a safety net

Home-Starts across the country are continuing to provide warm spaces, along with frontline emergency  support, to keep families warm and fed. Alice explains the difference this has made to her family:

The support we’ve received from Home-Start has made such a difference to our ability to survive. Because of Home-Start neither me nor the kids have had to miss a meal. They’ve provided us with food hampers and vouchers, a pushchair when my son grew out of his pram and shoes for the boys.

It’s made a massive difference. It’s meant I don’t have to worry that the boys don’t have enough food. It’s meant we can still all sit around a table and eat together as a family. It’s meant I no longer have to skip meals and they don’t see me eating a biscuit while they have their tea.

It’s given us back our normal family life when things were more affordable and a trip to the supermarket didn’t leave me so stressed. Home-Start is like a safety net. They’ve helped us to get through this winter and they’ve given me the confidence and resilience I never thought I’d have.”

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