Help for families struggling to cope

PUBLISHED: 08:01 26 August 2019

Home-Start logo

Home-Start logo


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

Home-Start Exeter and East Devon is a voluntary organisation offering friendship and support to local families with young children.

Its service is provided by volunteers, who are parents themselves, giving regular support, friendship and practical help to families who are struggling.

After the successful completion of its launch in Honiton, earlier this year, the charity is now ready to offer its service to Axminster and surrounding villages.

Deb Geraghty, volunteer co-ordinator for East Devon, said: "There are so many reasons why a family might want support including multiple births, post-natal depression, family breakdowns, isolation or simply lack of confidence.

"It can be really challenging bringing up young children especially if you don't have the support of friends and family around.

"That's where Home-Start comes in. Our volunteers visit once a week for a couple of hours and offer support and friendship until the family feels it no longer need us. It's as simple as that.

"It really works and makes such a big difference to our families, the volunteers get so much from it, too, including free accredited training that can start them on their own journey to learning or employment.

"The people of Axminster can often find it difficult to access services because it's right on the edge of the county border. "We're hoping to change that by supporting families in their own home, and our volunteers will encourage them to access local services that they may not know about or be confident enough to go to."

The charity is currently recruiting volunteers for its next six-week volunteer preparation course that will be running in Axminster in November.

To find out more about volunteering or getting support, contact Home-Start on 01392 826299, or email or visit the website for other ways to get involved

Home-Start promises total confidentiality to anyone asking for its help. And the charity stresses there is no stigma attached to receiving its help, citing the fact that almost 25 per cent of families refer themselves. All Home-Start's volunteers have an enhanced level disclosure and barring service (DBS) check.

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