About us

Annie Ives and Karen Cooke look after a team of volunteers providing this much-needed support and befriending service to families with children, 0 – 11 years.

Our volunteers are people from a wide variety of backgrounds and vary in age but all are either parents or have parenting experience. They are carefully selected for their friendliness and understanding, and are appropriately approved and all attend a course of preparation before being linked with families. Each volunteer is asked to visit a family once a week for a couple of hours. Home-Start’s volunteers work alongside families to give compassionate and confidential support, tailored to each family.

In addition to home visiting we provide other support to families. We offer a Counselling service, where our qualified counsellors can offer the time and space
to work through difficulties with trust and confidentiality. Our counsellors are members of the BACP (British Institute of Counselling and Psychotherapy)

We also offer a Re-Use Project, where families can request clothes, nursery equipment, toys and other household items from our stock of donated goods.

Parenting can be a lonely job and we believe that families need to meet other families to reduce their isolation so we organise regular Pram Walks,  Groups and day trips, where volunteers and staff are on hand to offer additional support to parents if it is needed. Look at our What’s On page for up to date details.

Meet the team

Annie Ives – Manager

Karen Cooke – Co-ordinator

Julie Cole – Family Support Worker

Julie Wallis – Office Co-ordinator

Clare Brownlow – Administrator

Home-Start Trip to Windmill Farm
Home-Start Trip to Windmill Farm

“Home-Start is simple, cost effective and succeeds because it builds on local community resources. It recognises that neighbours count, that everyone needs a friend and that – given a chance – people will in fact reach out and connect with one another.”

Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP