Family support charity receives Awards for All funding boost

23 March 2018

A north-east voluntary organisation has welcomed an important contribution towards its volunteer recruitment and training programme, courtesy of National Lottery Awards for All.

Family support charity Home-Start Aberdeen has received funding of £9,525 for activities that involve parents supporting parents. Such activities are at the heart of Home-Start Aberdeen’s service: the majority of its volunteers are parents themselves who provide other local families, who may be vulnerable or suffering from isolation, with emotional and practical support in their own homes.

Each year, Home-Start Aberdeen volunteers provide 229 families, including 360 children, with up to 27,500 hours of support. The charity’s volunteers, whose headcount stands at 125, undertake an eight-session preparation course and are offered further skills development opportunities throughout the year.

Georgette Cobban, scheme manager, Home-Start Aberdeen said: “This funding comes at a crucial time for our charity. We are currently supporting a record number of families, many of whom require our assistance for extended periods due to complex circumstances and challenges. Volunteer recruitment and high-quality training is essential to ensure that we can continue to meet these families’ needs effectively.”

Families referred to Home-Start Aberdeen may be facing a variety of challenges, such as physical and mental health conditions, disability, multiple births, domestic violence or substance abuse. Each family is carefully matched with a trained volunteer, who visits them once a week in their own home. The relationship is overseen by a co-ordinator from the charity’s small staff team.

Established in 1987 as a small project based in the Mastrick area of the city, the Home-Start Aberdeen of today supports families across all city communities. Currently one of the largest Home-Start schemes in the UK, the charity offers families a unique blend of practical support and friendship, along with access to specialist services such as baby massage, food budgeting and preparation, and its own Rising Stars family support group.

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