Home-Start Winchester & Districts

There for parents when they need us most, because childhood can't wait


November 2021 news from Home-Start Winchester

The past couple of months have felt like we’ve finally returned to a new “normal”. Our staff team are enjoying working in their new dedicated office environment at Lanterns – and are now primarily office rather than home-based.

Our Board are also meeting face to face and have begun thinking strategically about how our organisation needs to develop to better support families who need our help in and around Winchester.  If you have any ideas or suggestions about how we could do things differently please email our Chairman Barry Page (barry.page@home-startwinchester.org.uk) All messages will be treated in confidence but may influence our way forward.


Family news

  • We currently have 46 families on our books.  Jane and Liz have done lots of meeting and matching and nearly all new families who want a volunteer have now been allocated someone.
  • Our groups are proving a little slow. There has been quite a bit of autumn illness so fewer new families coming to replace the children who began school in September.  However, we have welcomed a few new families to the Lanterns baby group and the family group. The sessions are much enjoyed by those who do attend. Our group at Winnall community centre is now on a Tuesday morning (9.30 -11am including breakfast) instead of Thursday.
  • We are now half-way through the ten-week ‘Nurture programme’ which is being run in collaboration with Christ Church, Winchester. There has been very positive feedback from the parents involved. There will be another similar programme next term for six more Home-Start families.


New staff member

This week we are delighted to welcome Charlotte Howard to the staff team as family group co-ordinator. Charlotte has a background in Montessori teaching and trained with us as a volunteer earlier this year.  She lives just outside Winchester and is returning to work after a break to look after her four children. Charlotte’s role will be to seek opportunities and gaps in our current services so that we can offer more Home-Start groups and services to communities in Winchester and the surrounding areas.


Nothing like a Dame!

The incomparable Dame Judi Dench filled the Theatre Royal at the end of last month in a fabulous fundraising event which raised over £6,000 for Home-Start Winchester. In conversation with her biographer John Miller, Dame Judi talked about life in lockdown, sharing bawdy jokes with Billy Connolly, and her early career in rep and the RSC.

Thank you once again Dame Judi for your amazing support for Home-Start and live theatre. Thank you to John Miller without whom the evening would never have happened. And thanks to everyone who attended and enjoyed the evening.



Christmas Cards

Once again, we are selling a unique “Home-Start” Christmas card to raise funds. Painted by local artist Daphne Vaughan a pack of 10 cards costs £5. Cards can be bought on the High Street in Winchester or by pre-ordering and collecting from Lanterns.  Email info@home-startwinchester.org.uk  and pay by bank transfer. Our bank details are: Home-Start Winchester and Districts, sort code:  40-52-40, account no: 00013995.

Stockists in Winchester are the Christmas card market and White Stuff (on the High Street) or PG Wells or Cornflowers (Kingsgate.)



Raise money while you shop online

  • Please sign up to #easyfundraising. It costs you nothing – but retailers make a small donation each time you shop. It takes only two minutes to join! Plus, for a limited time once you’ve raised your first £15, easyfundraising will match it. Sign up here:



  • Amazon run a similar scheme: Amazon smile. It’s the same website and same prices and you can nominate Home-Start Winchester by following this link:



Thank you to all our supporters who are already raising money as you shop. All the small donations add up and are a valuable source of “free” funding!


December Bake Sale

We will be holding a sale of sweet and savoury goodies on Saturday, 4 December at St. Maurice’s Culvert, Winchester (opposite M&S) starting at 10 am.  Do come along and stock up with treats for Christmas. If you are a whizz with a mixing bowl and can do some baking please contact chrissie.barlow@home-startwinchester.org.uk







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