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Volunteers Alison (Blandford) and Lauren (Stour Provost) receiving their certificates from Caroline Salt, trustee of Home-Start Blackmore Vale.

The local charity that helps hard-pressed families, Home-Start Blackmore Vale, says more volunteers have finished their preparation course and are ready to be matched with a family who, for one reason or another, are going through a difficult time.

The new volunteers, who say they found the sessions ‘valuable and enjoyable’, are certainly needed. Home-Start say that ‘many more families are asking for our help at present and we would welcome more volunteers’.

One existing volunteer says she ‘loves being valued and making a real difference, and seeing parents grow in confidence’.

The next course will be early in the new year, when there is now the option of doing the training course online in the comfort of your own home, at your own pace.

On top of the charity’s historic face to face support, Home-Start is also about to offer remote support to families, either one to one or as part of a group. For anyone who would like to get involved in supporting a family, but does not wish or cannot to travel, this may suit them.

Jamie Keast, support co-ordinator for Home-Start Blackmore Vale, says: ‘Home-Start Blackmore Vale has been supporting families for over twelve years. We know that childhood can’t wait. The earliest years make the biggest impact and Home-Start make sure those years count so that no child’s future is limited.

‘Being a parent is exciting and joyful, but it can also be lonely, frustrating, heartbreaking and overwhelming. Life-changing events can happen to anyone and all parents struggle at one time or another.’

He explains: ‘We recruit, train and support volunteers with parenting experience to provide individual one-to-one support, visiting families in their home for 2-3 hours a week. We also run peer support and family groups. We work with families to build on their strengths and give them the support they tell us they need. Our common sense approach is parents helping parents.’

If you are/have been a parent and are interested in joining their growing team, please contact Home-Start on their office number 01258 473038 call Chelsey on 07568 745982 or email office@homestartblackmorevale.org.uk.

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