Wakefield Home-Start’s Volunteers

Last Friday I met with some of Wakefield Home-Start’s 100 volunteers and 250 families to hear about the invaluable support the organisation provides.

Home-Start places volunteers with families across thedistrict who are referred for a variety of reasons, including post-natalillness, disability, bereavement, the illness of a parent or child, or social isolation.

The volunteers make a difference by giving one to one support to a family -whether it is simply a bit of grown-up conversation and confidence building, a break for an hour or two to tidy the house, or more in depth support to help overcome a particular issue.

The organisation is currently waiting to hear how Wakefield Council willallocate their budget, which has been hit hard this year by Government cuts. Almost half Home-Start’s budget comes from Council funding and Trustees are bracing themselves for cuts.

Jenny Brown, Home-Start Wakefield and District Scheme Manager told me that the organisation already runs on the bare essentials and even a small cut in funding will reduce the service that is offered.

Not only does the organisation give families under pressure a helping hand at acrucial time, but the additional skills, training and confidence have helped many volunteers take on new challenges such as higher education or a new job.

This is exactly the kind of project we should be doing more of and shows how public money can support voluntary work to provide great value for money for the Council.

It is really worrying that we face the prospect of spending cuts making life harder for voluntary organisations like Home Start.

If you would like more information on Wakefield Home-Start, please give my office a call on 0113 2539466 or e-mail me at ed@edballs.com.

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Posted February 8th, 2011 by Ed's team