Home-Start schemes across Norfolk to merge into one charity

Home-Start Norfolk will help young families. Picture: Archant

Home-Start Norfolk will help young families. Picture: Archant - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2005

Five schemes that help families with young children across Norfolk are to be merged into one organisation from next month.

On April 1 the five Home-Start groups across the county will join forces to form Home-Start Norfolk.

The reorganisation process, which involves Home-Start groups which have offices in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn, Swaffham and Attleborough that cover surrounding areas, is being finalised.

Organisers say the reorganisation has been undertaken to safeguard the future of the Home-Start service in Norfolk following the withdrawal of funding by Norfolk County Council and the government.

And Home-Start Norfolk has promised the 'new scheme is committed to delivering an uninterrupted service to families across the county'.

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Its ethos will be to continue to focus on community needs and local projects, providing trained volunteers to support families with young children in their own homes.

The new charity will be led by chairman Martyn Lane and chief executive officer Helen Chester, who said: 'Staff and trustees have worked very hard to bring about a new structure that will enable the charity to continue to provide the help that parents sometimes need in times of difficulty or to overcome longer term problems that can affect children's health and well-being or affect their progress at school.

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'This is a big step and a great opportunity.'

Current services will operate until the end of March and the Mr Lane said after April 1 'there will be a continued presence across the county'.

He added: 'We have always prided ourselves on serving local communities and their needs as part of a county wide service and that won't change.

'Local volunteers will help local families. Local projects will be supported by local fundraising alongside the bigger county-wide service needs and their finances.

'Whether families live in Norwich or in the bigger towns like King's Lynn, Great Yarmouth, Diss or Swaffham or in the many, many smaller towns and villages across the county, we'll be there to help them.

'And we'll still be seeking the continued support and good will of new and longer term local funders to do this.'

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