New Forest charity receives donation to continue providing family support services

Home-Start New Forest, a self-funded charity, has received a generous donation of £5,000 from the Barker-Mill Foundation (BMF) which will enable the charity to continue to provide its much-needed support service to young families in the New Forest area.

Home-Start is a national charity, but individual branches need to self-fund to provide the services to its local communities. The charity provides a volunteer service to young families, with children under five years old, to help them through problems and difficult times.

The charity requires £30,000 a year to provide an effective service to families that have been referred from health visitors, GPs and social workers. Families are referred to the charity for a variety of reasons including coping with children’s difficult behavior, mental health issues within the family, managing a restricted family budget and physical health issues of either parents or children.

The donation from BMF will go towards training volunteers who have parenting experience, are trained on a forty-hour course split in hours over a six-week period. Currently, the charity has 15 mothers that volunteer and will make regular visits to a referred family in their own home, offering emotional and practical support.

Rick White, Chair of Trustees at Home-Start New Forest, said: “I know I speak for the whole organisation when I say how grateful we are for the support the Barker-Mill Foundation has very generously given to us over recent years.

“The £5,000 from Barker-Mill will make a great difference, but our total need a year is approximately £30,000. We are constantly applying for grants and donations and we do our own Fund Raising too.”

Tim Jobling, BMF Trustee, said: “We are delighted to provide support to such a vital cause in the New Forest. We have previously donated funds to help and were more than happy to donate again this year to ensure they are able to continue to provide their services.

“With the charity receiving referrals from GPs and social workers this shows how important the volunteers are to vulnerable families so it’s important to ensure the charity is able to provide training and volunteers to be able to help the vast amount of families that are referred to them each year.”

In 2017, thirty-five families across the New Forest area, were supported by the charity, twenty-seven of whom were new referrals. The families that have utilised the charities service have provided positive feedback and have shown consistent improvements in their estimation of their ability to cope with the situation they face.

For further information about Home-Start, visit