Help for families struggling to cope

PUBLISHED: 17:01 27 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:12 02 April 2019

Canonteign Falls. Picture: Denise Underwood

Canonteign Falls. Picture: Denise Underwood

(c) copyright

Home-Start is expanding into Honiton and surrounding villages

Heather Penwarden. Photo: Callum LawtonHeather Penwarden. Photo: Callum Lawton

A befriending service which helps families struggling to meet the challenges of modern life is expanding into Honiton.

Home-Start Exeter and East Devon is a charity using a network of volunteers to provide vital support for parents and their children.

It matches families with a parent volunteer to provide support and expert help as well as friendship on a regular basis in their home with no judgment, just compassionate confidential help.

Now new funding means the service can be provided in Honiton and the surrounding villages.

Heather Penwarden, The League Of Friends Of The Honiton Hospital’s chairman, has welcomed the news.

She said: “We are absolutely delighted - we know that finding support for families in rural areas where transport links are poor is difficult. Home-Start makes perfect sense. It’s about one person supporting another, making things a little easier, making a difference that will have a life-long effect. Sometimes the simplest idea is the best and that is how the magic of Home-Start works, by matching one person to another with no strings attached.”

Jan Campbell Young, chairman of the trustees at Home-Start, said parents asked Home-Start for help for all sorts of reasons.

She said: “They may feel isolated in their community, have no family nearby and be struggling to make friends. They may be finding it hard to cope because of their own or a child’s physical or mental illness. They may have been hit hard by the death of a loved one. They may be really struggling with emotional and physical demands of having twins or triplets - perhaps born into an already large family. Whatever the reasons, a little help can make a big difference.

“Evidence shows that families supported by Home-Start are less isolated, more resilient, show improved mental and physical health, see improvements in children’s behaviour and well-being and have less stress and conflict in the family.”

A 220ft fundraising abseil is being planned at Canonteign Falls, on Dartmoor, on Saturday April 27 to raise money for Home-Start. No experience is necessary and full training will be given on the day.

For further information or to book onto the challenge email or phone 01392 826299.

Visit for further information about the charity.

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