Charity Local News

Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire Launches, “Be a lifeSAVer – Sponsor A Volunteer” Campaign


Home-Start Southern Oxfordshire is an independently run and funded charity affiliated to the national charity, Home-Start UK, who deliver support to vulnerable families with young children across the southern part of the county of Oxfordshire.

The only qualifying criteria for help from the charity is that a family has at least one child aged 5 years or younger. Support is predominantly delivered through a home-visiting support programme which involves matching a trained volunteer with a family in need who will visit the family in their own home once a week to support them at a time when life is presenting challenges and parenting becomes increasingly difficult. Each family’s needs will be different and the volunteer can devote the time to support the family in the unique way that is required to help them overcome their individual difficulties. It is our aim and our passion to reach out to families at the earliest possible opportunity in the hope that we can prevent difficulties escalating to a more serious situation.

We can only do what we have been successfully doing for almost 28 years with the commitment and generosity of our home-visiting volunteers. They give their time every week to visit a family and receive no payment for this dedication. The charity reimburses their travel expenses for the work that they do and, in recent times, this has become increasingly difficult due to significant funding cuts. Regretfully, we have been forced to turn referrals away – a position which absolutely goes against everything that we strive to achieve – and we wanted to take steps to reverse that position. The “Be a lifeSAVer – Sponsor a Volunteer” campaign was born!

The campaign asks supporters to consider making a regular sponsorship of £8.50 per month to ensure one of our volunteers can stay “on the road” and supporting a family in need. Regular funding helps us plan longer term and means that we can start accepting referrals again in underfunded areas. For families like Zara’s *, just knowing that the same friendly face will be there for you every week can be life changing ……

“I developed severe post-natal depression and was hospitalised for 3 weeks in a specialist mental health mother and baby unit. I felt overwhelmed by the idea of establishing a new life with a new baby in a new area where I knew very few people.  Home-Start’s support has been brilliant and has made a huge difference, knowing someone will be there for me and my daughter week to week. I suspect it’s also played an important part in my recovery. I am hugely grateful for the timely, tailored and compassionate support I’ve received, which has undoubtedly made a significant difference at a time of my life when I have been most in need.”

In the light of recent reductions to children’s services across the area we are anticipating an increased need for families needing support. Every volunteer sponsored will be at least one more family helped.

More information can be found by visiting our “Sponsor a Volunteer” fundraising page at :

Or by contacting the team at the Didcot Office on 01235 511152.

*name changed to protect identity

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