Walking to raise funds to help local families through difficult times

Kathryn McCann, who works for one of my causes of the year, Home-Start Reading, talks about the work they do and how the funds raised through my walkabouts will help.

It was a conversation at a First Friday Club networking session that prompted Terry to offer to make us one of his good causes of the year for 2022-23. Just four months in, he has already collected more than £700 for us.

The funds raised through Terry’s walkabouts will help us meet essential running costs, which other sources of funding don’t cover. We’re really grateful to him for choosing us, and it’s fantastic that he has managed to raise so much already.

We’re here to support families with young children who are facing hard times. They may be dealing with mental or physical health problems, relationship challenges or poor housing, all made worse by financial hardship and a sense of isolation.

Home-Start Reading help in a variety of ways, including:

  • Home Visiting by trained volunteers, who provide practical help and gentle, non-judgemental support.
  • Family Group sessions to bring parents and children together with others, where they can benefit from support from staff and build their social circle
  • Courses to help parents feel more relaxed, confident and better equipped to cope

Lightyears away

Last year, a mum who had support from one of our Home-Visiting volunteers told us, “I’d be dead without my volunteer. She has been amazing. Kind, patient, understanding, neutral, non-judgmental, friendly, supportive, caring, thoughtful, available, hardworking, easy going, and much more. She is my life saver.”

And after completing one of our Mums in Mind courses earlier this year, one mum wrote, “I feel lightyears away from how I felt. I feel so much better. I have learned things about myself that I didn’t know existed.”

Over the 2022-23 year we supported 105 families, with 332 children between them. 97% of the parents reported that their self-esteem had improved thanks to our support, 91% said they were better able to manage their children’s behaviour and 95% said we had helped them feel less isolated. 

Walking with Terry -Terry put on an extra town centre walk for us this summer, where people could come along and meet some of our team, while discovering fascinating facts about where they live. It was really well attended and everyone enjoyed it. Although the walk lasted for two hours, it was a gentle stroll, rather than a hike, with plenty of stops at key points for Terry to regale us with local stories.

Terry has kindly offered to run another extra walkabout for us this autumn, a Halloween, Ghosts & Strange Goings On walk on Monday 30 October. We’ll be meeting at the Queen Victoria statue near the town hall at 4.50pm for a 5pm start. Please get in touch with Terry if you would like to join us.

You can find out more about Home-Start Reading at www.home-start-reading.org.uk or follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter at @HomeStartRDG.