MORE than 100 volunteers at Homestart have ‘befriended’ families across Tameside to help make the daily struggle a little easier.
The team of specially-trained volunteers offer flexible and practical support to children and their families who are referred by health or social work professionals – or simply ask for help themselves.
Typically support might involve help to become more organised or to access services, playing with the children or helping parents to attend appointments.
And at their AGM, MP Jonathan Reynolds joined staff and volunteers to help them celebrate their ongoing success.
Stalybridge and Hyde MP Mr Reynolds said: “Homestart is a remarkable organisation that gives real and practical support to help families with young children.
“While most of us, most of the time can rely on the support of friends and family when we go through tough times, Homestart is there when that’s not possible.
“The families think of the volunteers as new friends – and the volunteers get a great deal of satisfaction from the experience too.
“I was delighted to be invited to the Homestart AGM and to hear about their ongoing successes.”
Over the past 12 months 117 volunteers at the Audenshaw-based charity – which covers the Oldham, Stockport and Tameside areas - have worked with 180 families.
And in addition, this year, they have launched a project designed to encourage women to breastfeed.
After the formalities of the AGM staff, volunteers and guests celebrated the successes of the year – with volunteers being recognised for volunteering for 50,100 or 150 hours during the year.
Nationally the network of Homestart UK organisations has 16,000 family support volunteers who help 32,000 families every year.
Homestart – which began in Leicester – now operates in 22 countries in five continents.
For more information about Homestart go to www.homestartto.org or call 0161 344 0669.