Urgent Appeal 2022

The number of referrals we receive each week has doubled

We need to raise £70,000 so we can continue to support our current families, and be able to provide ongoing support for the increasing number of vulnerable families across Hertfordshire.

We are currently supporting approximately 200 families and have 62 families waiting for support.

We are appealing to you for urgent help so we can prevent these families breaking down and children being adversely affected. Your donation will help parents give their children a positive and nurturing start to life, minimise the impact of the pandemic and build a brighter future.

The Impact of COVID19

In the last financial year, 2020-2021, we ended the year with a surplus, largely due to our success in securing emergency grant funding from a range of trusts and foundations.

However, we missed out on about £33,000 from cancelled fundraising activities and events and other funding streams did not perform so well.

This year we have found it particularly hard to secure grant funding, with fewer funders, smaller funding pots and more applicants. We are currently running at a deficit.

Our appeal to help more families

Throughout 2021, we saw an unprecedented increase in demand for our support across Hertfordshire, and this continues to be the case, with a 100% increase in the number of referrals received each week.

Even though we are now out of lockdown, the devastating impact it had on the wellbeing of vulnerable children and families continues. Many babies born in lockdown and young children are now delayed in their social and emotional development due to restricted contact with people, limited experiences outside of the home and missed education.

An increase in domestic violence during lockdown put more children and parents at risk of harm and caused irreversible trauma.

One of many success stories

When Carla was referred to us, she was struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. She had two young children under 4 and was feeling unable to go on. She was matched with a volunteer Family Mentor and, in time, started to make progress, but when COVID hit and lockdown was enforced, Carla’s mental health declined; she was struggling again and the children were becoming unsettled.

Her mentor provided telephone support every week. She talked through coping mechanisms and strategies for self-care. They set routines for the children and planned some games and activities to do each day. Her volunteer did some doorstep drops, delivering colouring and activity books for the children and essentials like milk formula, toiletries and nappies.

When the rules were lifted, the Family Group re-started and she was supported to return. Carla seemed a different person when she was at the Group, mixing with other parents and building her confidence. The children enjoyed playing in a safe and relaxed environment and socialising with other children – something they had not done for over a year.

Mum said:

At the beginning of my Home-Start journey, I found motherhood difficult and dreaded every day; dark thoughts made my life a misery. After all that I have been through, Home-Start gave me the confidence and encouragement but most of all they helped me to enjoy being a mother.”

Thanking you in advance, Home-Start Hertfordshire