The first five years of a child’s life are fundamentally important; they are the foundation that shapes their future growth, health, happiness, opportunities and ability to face life’s challenges.
None of us is immune to the factors that lead to troubled lives and regardless of background, families with young children may be struggling with low self- esteem, isolation, depression, illness, or disability of a parent or child.
Home-Start Winchester and Districts, based at the Lanterns Nursery in Winchester, is one of 211 independently run national schemes offering emotional and practical support to families in their own homes. Families work alongside trained parent volunteers who act as a listening ear, a role model for parenting and help with everyday issues. Parents are not judged but empowered with praise and encouragement to do their best for their families and give their children the best start in life.
Home-Start Winchester and Districts works within a 12 mile radius of Winchester and in addition to a home-visiting service also runs two family groups and organises various family outings. We supported 55 families last year with a home-visiting volunteer and over 25 families through the family groups. The issues presented by our families has changed significantly over the years and now over 60% of parents suffer from mental illness and 40% have a child with disabilities.