City of Sanctuary: How vulnerable families across Portsmouth are being supported

VULNERABLE families across Portsmouth are getting the support they need thanks to a charity run by volunteers.

By Millie Salkeld
Monday, 28th October 2019, 4:55 pm
Updated Monday, 28th October 2019, 9:44 pm
Home-start office.

Picture: Habibur Rahman.
Home-start office. Picture: Habibur Rahman.

Home-Start Portsmouth runs a number of projects, including stay and play groups, a home visit service and parent support, to make sure the city’s children are getting the best start in life.

John Vaughan has been volunteering for the charity for six years after retiring from teaching.

The 63-year-old said: ‘Home-Start is such a great charity and when I retired and was looking for an opportunity to volunteer this jumped out at me as it was using skills I already had.

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‘It is so rewarding to help families and give them the support they need. There have been lots of budget cuts recently and so people need that extra bit of help.’

Home-Start Portsmouth is one of more than 80 organisations that has signed up to be part of Portsmouth City of Sanctuary, a network which aims to connect projects and services across the city to offer support to vulnerable groups.

Suzy Gage, a project co-ordinator at Home-Start Portsmouth, said: ‘We are so thrilled to be part of the City of Sanctuary initiative and we think it is great that so many organisations have gathered together to ensure vulnerable people are supported.

‘It really fits with what we do to make sure families are supported no matter what situation they are in and to make sure that children get the best start in life.’

Portsmouth Football Club, the British Red Cross, ArtReach and the University of Portsmouth are among the groups that have signed up.

If you are interested in volunteering and can spare two to three hours a week to help families in Portsmouth call 02392 734400, email [email protected] or to go to get an application form and find out more.

Suzy added: ‘Without our wonderful volunteers who work hard week in and week out, we would not be able to do what we do.’