When families are struggling it is their children who suffer the most. Last year Home-Start helped 60,000 children and their parents. We were there for Sarah and her children when they faced tragedy, but there were thousands more who weren’t able to get the help they needed.

Sarah suffered with depression after the birth of her second daughter and was attending a family support group run by her local Home-Start to help her to cope.

Please click here to make a gift that will support the work of Home-Start UK.

But only a few months later, just before Christmas, Sarah was stunned to hear her father was diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Sarah was an only child and had lost her own mother when she was just a baby. Growing up, her father had been everything to her and now Sarah faced losing the only parent she had ever known.

This had a profound effect on Sarah’s mental health and, with the demands of constant visits to hospital, meant that she was no longer able to attend the Home-Start family group that was helping her so much.

Sadly, in February, only 10 weeks after diagnosis, Sarah’s father passed away.

Sarah was left devastated by this sudden and traumatic loss. After a few months of trying to cope alone with her grief and feelings of isolation, Sarah knew she needed help. She contacted her local Home-Start and asked if they could support her again. Sarah was welcomed back to the family group with open arms and being around other mums helped her to start the healing process.

“I knew for my own sanity I had to be around people who could give me the support I needed. Being able to talk, cry and laugh helped me come to terms with what had happened and helped me start to heal. My youngest child also had to be with other children and learn to socialise and play. The support of the group and being able to talk through my problems helped me deal with everything much better”.

Many families across the UK are dealing with situations like Sarah’s on a daily basis. The support they receive from their local Home-Start is vital and helps them to cope with issues as diverse as bereavement, depression, isolation, social exclusion, poor housing and the pressures of being a parent.

To enable local Home-Starts to continue providing this critical and much needed support we need your help.

Click here to make your donation, safely and securely, on our website. Thank you.

All donations, however large or small, go a long way to ensuring that Home-Start can carry on supporting the families that turn to us for help.

Together we won’t have to turn away any family in their time of need. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Rob Parkinson

P.S. A £20 donation could make a huge difference this Christmas. Click here to make your donation.

*(Names in this story have been changed to protect the family. Image is posed my models.)