This organisation supports families struggling with challenges such as post-natal illness, disability, isolation, the demands of parenting young children and preparing children and their parents for starting school.
A grant from the Realising Ambitions Fund enabled Home-Start to support additional families in West Suffolk through home visiting, and to continue running the Lakenheath Parent and Child Group. Due to Covid-19, home visiting had to stop, and each family’s needs are currently met through weekly, or fortnightly, video or phone calls. At present, the Lakenheath group is unable to run in person, but Home-Start have used TEAMS and WhatsApp to engage the families who would have attended. The Group Coordinator provides activities and story time during the sessions, which the parents complete with their children afterwards. The sessions have enabled participants to keep in touch with other parents they have met through the group.
Activity packs have been distributed to families with financial hardship, encouraging the children and parents to complete the activities together. Parents suffering with their mental health have received pamper packs which provide an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate, and a realisation that they are not alone.
Home-Start has also posted videos on its Facebook page, demonstrating different ways that families can have fun together with the children – interactive yoga sessions for parents and children based around children’s story books, art and craft activities, outdoor activities to promote engagement with nature, and many other suggestions.
The Realising Ambitions Fund has enabled Home-Start Mid & West Suffolk to facilitate a Parent and Child support group in Lakenheath and the surrounding rural areas, where isolation and loneliness are an everyday factor in a lot of families lives. We are able to offer them a safe environment where the parents can have a coffee and a chat and the children are provided with fun activities which follow the EYFS Profile. Thank you so much for funding this project, we could not have run this group without your funding.