Home-Start Winchester and Districts

The leading family support charity

About Us

What we do

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Home-Start Winchester believes that parents play the key role in ensuring that children have a happy and secure childhood. Even the most dedicated parents can face challenging situations and it is at times like these that a volunteer can support and encourage families to overcome their difficulties and provide a stable environment in which their children can flourish. Our volunteers offer friendship and support to parents with at least one child under five. They visit families in their homes for a few hours each week during which time they provide both emotional and practical support.

Home-Start Winchester operates in Winchester and surrounding rural areas. Within the city there are two wards that are amongst the most deprived areas in the UK. We also serve Alresford, Bishop’s Sutton, Bramdean, the Candover Valley, Colden Common, Crawley, Kings Somborne, Otterbourne, Owslebury, Sparsholt, Sutton Scotney and Twyford.

Image of volunteer knocking on a door.

Home-Start Winchester is one of over 200 schemes within the national Home-Start movement, each of which is an independent charity which supports families in local communities. Bound to one another and to Home-Start UK by an Agreement which determines Quality Standards, each scheme is run independently with its own charitable status, Board of Trustees and with responsibility for securing its own funding.

Home-Start UK was set up in 1973 and last year helped nearly 35000 families and 71000 children supported by 16000 volunteers.

To Home-Start every family is special and each family’s needs are responded to through a combination of home-visiting support by volunteers, group work and social events. Home-Start wants to see a society in which every parent has the support they need to give their children the best possible start in life.

Home-Start Winchester aims is to offer free support to families with at least one child under five, which are going through difficult times which may include one or more of the following:

  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Coping with twins, triplets or several pre-school children
  • Ill health, disability and special needs
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Lone parenting
  • First time parenthood and new babies
  • Children’s behavioural problems

Our services are provided by a team of volunteers who are recruited, trained and given on-going support by our Coordinators. Volunteers provide informal, friendly and confidential support, for at least two hours once a week, generally for between 6 to12 months, although periods of more than a year are not uncommon for families with more complex problems.

We work in close collaboration with local Children’s Centres and the other Home-Start schemes in Hampshire.