Charity launches £50k fundraising campaign to support parents
- Credit: Mark Bullimore/Mark Bullimore Ph
Parents in Norfolk are struggling to cope with the demands of bringing up a young family, often feeling isolated, lonely and overwhelmed, a new survey has revealed.
The charity Home-Start Norfolk, which provides support, help and friendship to families with children aged up to five years old has found 65pc of parents felt they were not prepared for the challenges they would face as the parent of a young child.
Now, in a bid to support more families and help them through the tricky early years of raising a family Home-Start Norfolk has launched a new fundraising campaign.
Calling on 5pc of Norfolk to donate just £1, the '5% for under 5s' campaign aims to raise £50,000 to enable the charity to increase the number of families it supports from 79 to more than 130 and provide up to 1,500 additional voluntary hours of support a year.
Ray McCune, trustee of Home-Start Norfolk, said: 'There's an African proverb which says 'it takes a village to raise a child'; placing importance on the extended family, friends and wider community to support parents of young children and help them learn and develop in a safe environment. But in 2018, many people are lacking that vital community support.
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'Our survey has highlighted a real and serious issue facing parents here in Norfolk: one of isolation and loneliness. We want to tackle that and be there for more families in the county.'
Currently supporting families across Norfolk, Home-Start hoped the campaign would enable it to provide around 30 extra volunteers who were able to help families through a wide range of issues including poor post-natal mental health, lone parenting, coping with multiple births, getting back into work or dealing with a life-changing event such as a death, illness or an accident in the family.
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'By spending just two hours a week with these families in their own homes, our brilliant volunteers make a huge difference. But we want and need to do more. At the moment, we have no choice but to turn people away because we don't have the necessary funds to train, co-ordinate and support more volunteers,' said Mr McCune.
To donate to the 5% for under 5s campaign visit homestartnorfolk.org and use the donate button or visit localgiving.org/charity/home-start-norfolk/
Sarah Taigel's story
Sarah Taigel, a mother of two, first came into contact with Home-Start Norfolk after her second daughter Yvie was born.
Home alone when her husband returned to work after paternity leave Dr Taigel found her self struggling to cope while caring for a her oldest daughter Sophie, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and a new born baby all while recovering from a c-section.
'Looking back, we didn't realise the degree of the intervention that Sophie really needed, so life had got extremely tough,
'When Yvie was born, the situation was exacerbated, and I became overwhelmed and the PTSD I had after Sophie was born developed into severe depression. It wasn't until my Health Visitor referred me to Home-Start Norfolk that things began to change for the better' she said.
'Looking back there are many services that should have stepped in sooner to help us, but Home-Start Norfolk was the only group I could turn to who were able to help. I am proud to speak out in support of a charity who has been there for me and my children over the last six years.'
65pc of parents do not ask for help
In Home-Start Norfolk's survey of more than 200 Norfolk parents, more than 88pc of parents said they found coping with a new baby or young family an overwhelming experience.
Feelings of isolation and loneliness where identified as some of the biggest issues facing parents, with 21pc saying they often felt lonely, isolated and cut off from the outside world, 26pc said they felt this way most or all the time.
Although two-thirds -67pc- said they did have people to turn to for advice and support, 65pc of parents said they did not ask for help from friends and family as it felt like admitting they had failed.
Of the parents who answered the survey, 61pc of parents said they were not aware of what support or help was available to them but when provided with a list of the type of support delivered by Home-Start's volunteers, 85pc said that it would be likely to make a positive difference to them and their family.
The survey was completed by 201 people who all live in Norfolk and are parents.