Volunteers are needed as much as grants for struggling charity

Home Start staff ( l-r)  Jacky Morris,  Debbie Freemantle, Louise Wheeldon and Sarah-Jane Scott.''''Picture: Allan Hutchings (141952-403)
Home Start staff ( l-r) Jacky Morris, Debbie Freemantle, Louise Wheeldon and Sarah-Jane Scott.''''Picture: Allan Hutchings (141952-403)
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WE NEED more volunteers to guarantee our survival.

That is the message from a charity which helps parents and their young children going through troubled times.

Home-Start Gosport and Fareham announced earlier this month that it could close at the end of the financial year if it didn’t find extra money.

But the charity’s call for help is two-fold with additional volunteers also key to their survival.

Jacky Morris, a co-ordinator at the charity based on Salterns Lane, Fareham, said: ‘We’re looking for additional volunteers at the moment.

‘We’re in the course of sending posters to both Fareham and Gosport borough councils as well as community centres so we reach as many people as possible.

‘Despite our financial needs, we also need volunteers to ensure we can carry on running our services as normal.

‘We’re trying to operate like we would if we had money coming in next year so it is difficult.’

Since Home-Start launched its appeal, it has been getting donations and a number of fundraisers have been held.

Families that used to use the service have offered help and Gosport Business Centre made the organisation their charity of the year.

Jacky added: ‘We have had lots of interest in people making donations or asking how they can help us.

‘One of our volunteers held a silent auction which was great.

‘People have been really lovely about the whole situation.’

As previously reported in The News Home-Start, which helps families get through issues such as isolation, mental health problems or domestic abuse, has revealed that it faces an uncertain future after losing a third of its funding.
The charity helps 40 families and 12 more have recently been referred.
But it no longer has its £40,000 annual funding from the county council.
Despite this, Jacky said they aren’t making huge cuts yet.
‘We haven’t told the families we have been helping that we can’t run the service any more.
‘We aren’t making those sort of cuts yet and hopefully we won’t need to.
‘We just want to carry on running the service as we have been.’
Home-Start is hoping to get a grant from the Big Lottery Fund which will help towards securing its future.