Who can we support?
We work with families in the southern part of Oxfordshire who have one or more children under the age of five, and who meet our criteria for support. There are many reasons why mums and dads need support and these can include:
- Feeling isolated, maybe with no family nearby and struggling to make friends
- Suffering with postnatal illness and maybe finding it hard to talk to anyone about it, or supporting a partner who is suffering
- Having a hard time coping with a child’s illness or disability
- Being affected by the death of a family member
- Struggling with the emotional and practical demands of twins, triplets, or children under five
- Finding it hard to cope with relationship difficulties
- Feeling exhausted or depressed
- Coping with your own illness or disability
More often than not we support mothers and their children but we are here for the whole family which includes dad too! Our support is available for dads to access, as their needs are sometimes overlooked in favour of Mum, and this can bring additional challenges for the family. We also acknowledge that postnatal illness does not just affect mums; dads can also suffer or are affected by caring for a partner who is suffering. We want to reach out to dads who might not realise Home-Start is here for them and offer the friendship and support that they need.
Read more about John’s story here.
What do we offer?
A carefully selected and trained volunteer, who has parenting experience, will visit regularly for two-three hours a week in the family home. (There is no fee for this service). Volunteers offer emotional and practical support tailored to needs. These needs can vary from week to week so our support is flexible and responsive and can include:
- Being a listening ear or someone to talk to
- Adult company
- Helping and playing with children
- Help to find out about and access other local amenities and services
- Encouragement and motivation
- Practical help around the house
- Support with household budgeting
If you think Home-Start could help, contact us yourself, on (01235) 511152, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or talk to your Health Visitor or Social Worker. We will be pleased to hear from you. If you do decide to ask for support, one of our staff will meet you to talk about your needs.
Please note that we are a small charity, dependent on grants, donations and fundraising, so we are unable to meet all requests for help.
Didcot First Babies Drop-In Group
We also run a group for expectant parents, and first-time parents and their babies from birth to 15 months. This is held at the Ladygrove Community Hall, Tamar Way, Didcot on Tuesday mornings from 10am til 12noon. We request a weekly donation of £1 per family. It’s a friendly, informal group with a chance to make new friends! Contact us for details.