Project information

Supporting Young Families

Even the most dedicated parents face challenges. Our aim is to offer practical support to more families where it really matters. Our volunteers offer regular support, friendship practical help to families under stress, in their own homes, helping to prevent family crisis and breakdown.

April 2013 - March 2014

Charity information: Home-start Watford And Three Rivers

Home-start Watford And Three Rivers logo
  • Need


    One in four children under five in the UK has a difficult start in life due to family pressures but Home-Start believes that every child deserves to be loved, to play, to learn and to grow in confidence. We recognise that this is best achieved in a happy and secure family setting, but we also appreciate that even the most dedicated parents face challenges that prevent them doing all they want to for their children.


    A well-trained volunteer visits the family on a weekly basis and this support is completely free for the families concerned. The dedication and quality of our volunteers is reflected in the real difference they make to the lives of the parents and children

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To increase the number of families we can support


    » Hold an induction course to train more volunteers to be able to support the families

    What success will look like

    Success will be advertising the course widely so that we have up to 20 volunteers participating on the course. Once trained, we can support 20 extra families

  • Impact


    Our impact on the families is phenominal! We aim to enpower families via coping mechanisms so that they become self-suffiecient by the end of our time with them.

    We closely monitor our volunteers and families - success would be 18 of the 20 volunteers working with a second familiy at the end of the project and 85% of the families feeling they have no further need of support at the end of the project


    The main risk is withdrawal of local government funding to pay for ongoing support costs. We have employed a part-time fundraiser to try to gain additional independent income


    We have a monthly newsletter and an annual report. In addition, we are intending to hold quarterly coffee mornings where our supporters can meet with our volunteers to hear more about our work

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £3,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £1,500 Training course 12 week training course (half day per week
      £750 SupportAdmin Matching of volunteers to families and ongoing support
      £750 Expenses We pay travelling expenses for volunteers
  • Background


    We operate in Hertfordshire - in particular, we focus on the area of Watford and Three Rivers. Although our catchment area is often perceived as being fairly affluent, it contains significant pockets of social deprivation, especially South Oxhey and parts of central Watford. Our charity tends to naturally pick up more referrals from these areas and we aim to continue to target areas where there are more socially isolated and excluded families.


    The families we work with will be the main beneficiaries - we focus on families in crisis with at least one child under five. However, the surrounding community will also benefit as one of our aims is to encourage the families to engage with their local community

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have 20 years experience of working in this area. All our volunteers are parents themselves so they appreciate the challenge of bringing up a young family

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jill Patterson

    Jill is senior co-ordinator and designs and delivers the training course.

    Val George

    Val interviews prospective volunteers, helps on the induction course and them supports the volunteers once they start to work with a family

    Seema Agnihotri

    Seema also interviews prospective volunteers, helps on the induction course and them supports the volunteers once they start to work with a family