Head start for families

A NEW charity that will help support families with young children has been officially opened in Huntingdon. Home-Start West Cambridgeshire has been set up to provide practical support to parents with children under the age of five who are finding it diff

A NEW charity that will help support families with young children has been officially opened in Huntingdon.

Home-Start West Cambridgeshire has been set up to provide practical support to parents with children under the age of five who are finding it difficult to cope.

Based at Montagu House in Huntingdon High Street, it will serve the families who live in the town as well as those in St Ives, Ramsey and surrounding villages.

To mark the start of the charity's work, the Mayor of Huntingdon

Councillor Jeff Dutton, and Sue Everitt, the director of Home-Start, released 25 balloons.

Scheme co-ordinator Caroline Germann, said: "As we cheered the balloons on their way we felt a sense of achievement, knowing we will soon be ready to offer friendship and support to 25 families."

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Eight volunteers have been recruited and trained, ready to be matched to families in the new year.

Ms Germann added: "Our volunteers come from all walks of life and have parenting experience. No specific qualifications are required - only friendliness, a practical approach and an understanding of the problems facing today's parents, which can at times be overwhelming."

The work is funded partly by Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust but also with donations from Huntingdon Freemen's Charity, Oxmoor Opportunities, and the King of the Belgians pub in Hartford.

During 2007, Home-Start West Cambridgeshire will be recruiting more home-visiting volunteers.

It is also looking for experienced people to join the management committee, particularly people with management skills. People need half a day per week to spare.

INFORMATION: Families or volunteers can contact Caroline Germann on 01480 436300 or e-mail caroline@homestartwestcambs.co.uk

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