Jess takes time off to help out families in need

Jess Linsley (39) from Havant, works at Waitrose as a personnel manager and has been given the opportunity to take three months off work to work with the charity Homestart.  Pictured is: Jess Linsley (39) with Ellie Hedgeland (3), who Jess helps out Ellie and her family.  Picture: Sarah Standing (123156-7562)
Jess Linsley (39) from Havant, works at Waitrose as a personnel manager and has been given the opportunity to take three months off work to work with the charity Homestart. Pictured is: Jess Linsley (39) with Ellie Hedgeland (3), who Jess helps out Ellie and her family. Picture: Sarah Standing (123156-7562)

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EVERY day provides a new chance to help families for Jess Linsley.

But it’s not the 39-year-old mum of three’s job.

Jess is the personnel manager at Waitrose in Havant but is taking a three-month sabbatical to help a charity close to her heart.

Homestart Havant is a charity which supports families with children under school age who are under stress or need a bit of help and support.

As part of the John Lewis Golden Jubilee Trust, all employees can apply for a sabbatical to do community work.

Jess explained why she chose Homestart Havant.

‘There are lots of parents in Havant who don’t even feel able to go out with their children. The volunteers work with families and change lives. It can be as simple as just popping round and being a friend.

‘Other families might need help because of multiple births.

‘Perhaps mum feels she doesn’t spend enough time with her older child and you give them the chance to do that. Or maybe a mum wants to take her children swimming but can’t because she needs another pair of hands.

‘We go in and help families close to breakdown with ideas on parenting, basic hygiene and diet.’

Kayleigh Samuels, 25, from Hayling, and her three-year-old daughter Ellie Hedgeland are among those to benefit from Jess’s sabbatical.

She said: ‘I don’t have any family around so I’ve had Jess since June. She has helped me so much.’

Jess has put her skills to good use by working directly with families, filling in time consuming funding applications, recruiting trustees and raising the profile of the organisation, which is based in Mill Road, Waterlooville,in the business community.

She added: ‘I have loved every minute of it and I hope I’ve achieved something for the charity.’

Homestart is always looking for donations and trustees.

Anyone who feels they can help in anyway should contact Jess before she leaves at the end of the month or Maggie Eveleigh, on (023) 92241 234 or by visiting homestart-havant.org.uk