Ham Open Gardens – thank you

What a wonderful day we had at Ham Open Gardens on Sunday! The weather was amazing and around 1200 people came along to view the 19 exquisite gardens on show. It was lovely to see so many of our volunteers and supporters there and we especially would like to thank our volunteer stewards and cake bakers for their time and contributions. We are also grateful to the Ham and Petersham Association for organising such a fantastic event and for selecting Home-Start as one of the beneficiaries. We are looking forward to hearing how much money was raised!

Thanks to Kingston Morris Men





Many thanks to Kingston Morris and Spring Grove Morris for selecting Home-Start as their charity of the year 2016. We were so grateful to receive a very generous £1000 last week. This money will go towards supporting vulnerable families in Kingston Borough who need help with issues such as disability, illness, post-natal depression, isolation and family breakdown. Every penny is very gratefully received – thank you.

Thank you St Margaret’s Catholic Church

A huge thank you to Father Peter and the congregation of St Margaret’s Catholic Church for their amazing Lenten fundraising efforts, including a Fiesta Latina and a Teddy Bears’ Picnic.
Our Chair of Trustees Louise Kerr was delighted to accept a cheque for £5000 to help vulnerable families in
TW1 and the surrounding areas.

We are very grateful to all those who organised and supported this project, and especially to parishioner David Ring for nominating us.

September Volunteer Course

Volunteer for Home-Start RichmondOur next volunteer course will be held in Teddington at St Mary with St Alban Church Hall in Ferry Road.  This 7 week course starts on Tuesday 19th September (not during half-term week).  If you would like more details about what volunteering for us entails, please contact Angie Ahmed on 020 8487 8500 or email info@homestart-richmond.org.uk.

April 2017 Newsletter

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Click above to view or download our April 2017 Newsletter.  You can read about a donation from 03e of bikes for some of our families, an update from one of the families we helped through very difficult times, Ham Open Gardens, Trustee recruitment and volunteer training starting in September.

Could you be our Trustee?

Home-Start Richmond supports families with young children by recruiting and training volunteers to provide practical help and emotional support for families in their homes.

This is an exciting opportunity to serve on the Board of Trustees for a successful voluntary organisation and make a real difference to the lives of families and children. It offers the chance to participate in the local community in a meaningful and rewarding way for personal and career development.

We enjoy the services of a vibrant and committed Board of Trustees with wide-ranging skill sets. Due to recent geographical expansion (we now serve the areas of Kingston and Hounslow boroughs) and to ensure that our Board continues to meet the needs of our expanding operations, we wish to enlarge and strengthen our Board primarily in the areas of Digital Technology and Fundraising.

The commitment is attendance at board meetings which take place every six weeks at Parkway House in Sheen in the evening. Our local network is very important to us and in order to play a full and rewarding part in Home-Start Richmond, trustee presence at local events and fundraising initiatives is expected. This is not onerous however and is at the trustee’s own discretion.

In addition, trustees typically support the staff on an ad hoc basis, within their own particular area of expertise.

The trustee role is an unpaid one but we can meet reasonable expenses associated with attending Board meetings or other events.

If you think that you have relevant skills and would relish the chance to be part of a successful and dynamic local enterprise, please apply for an information pack in the first instance to:

Louise Kerr, Chair of Trustees, Home-Start Richmond upon Thames




How Home-Start helped our family








Picture shows Home-Start volunteer Sue playing with Naneh’s daughter. Her late son’s photo is on the mantlepiece.

We recently heard from a mum we supported a few years ago, expressing gratitude for our support during a very difficult time for the family. Many thanks to Naneh for offering to share her story and experience of Home-Start:

Home-Start: Our Story

When tragedy struck our family, we were expecting our second child. Our first-born, a four-year-old treasure with an angelic face, died in his sleep just two months shy of meeting his sister.

The first year was a fog, but we had my mum’s help with caring for a new baby against the background of loss. Then, my mother, who lives abroad, went back, and it dawned on me that, without many friends and family nearby, a 1:1 ratio is nothing when what you have is an energetic toddler and what you are is energy-sapped and grief-stricken.

How Home-Start helped

I came across Home-Start’s details and, since every little helps, I contacted them. Home-Start Richmond were speedy, and we had an initial visit with a view to be assigned someone suitable to our situation.

That someone suitable was a mature lady, a grandmother and former pre-school teacher, as well as an author, but she told us to call her Sue. She came at a set time every week and was tactful, attentive and calm. She was with us for around a year, and we still remember her with fondness and gratitude.

The great thing about it was, as a Home-Start volunteer, she was impartial, free, and there for a specific purpose, so you don’t have the usual guilt about taking advantage of friends or over-burdening family. Sometimes we had conversations, which distracted me or opened a window on the outside world that I’d shut away from, and sometimes I would leave her with my 18-month-old and take to my room. I appreciated the fact that there was someone who went at my little one’s pace, who sat through her pressing random buttons on toys and taught her nursery rhymes.

A lot of people in acute difficulty find that it’s sometimes the trivial things, such as doing your nails, that can anchor you and give you a sense of achievement in an otherwise directionless day. Other times, it could be the simple act of washing-up whilst listening to the radio.

How our volunteer helped me and my daughter

Sue understood that and was there to take over the play with our daughter whilst I cleared and calmed my head. Her input into my daughter’s early years cannot be quantified, as her help to us as a family. Beyond the simple fact of having regular chunks of time thanks to a Home-Start volunteer, I learnt a lot from Sue. She calmly got me to question my self-doubt and self-imposed pressure and reassured me in a lot of subtle ways that we were OK, and that in the circumstances we were doing well enough.

I believe in the ethos of Home-Start – it’s about helping adults through spending time with children. When in unusually stressful circumstances, you’ll be better able to cope with your daily routine, given the chance to re-charge. And it’s fabulous to know that your child’s had stimulation and attention whilst you’ve caught up with things.


If you know anyone who needs help, or if you would like to offer support, please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 8487 8500 or info@homestart-richmond.org.uk


Recruiting for April Volunteer Course








If you have some free time after the Easter holidays, and you are a parent or grandparent, you could help other local families with pre-school children. Home-Start is offering a free course to train you to be a home-visiting volunteer, supporting families with difficulties such as post-natal illness, bereavement or disability, living in the boroughs of Richmond or Kingston.

We run three volunteer preparation courses per year: September-November (on a Tuesday), January-March (on a Wednesday) and April-June (on a Thursday). The courses run either in Kingston or East Sheen.

The next course will run in East Sheen between 10am-2.30pm, every Thursday for 7 weeks from 27th April until the 15th June (not half-term). After the course, you would visit a family for 2-3 hours a week at a time that suits you.

For more information, please contact Angie Ahmed on 020 8487 8500 info@homestart-richmond.org.uk

The Big Volunteer Thank You

We welcomed a number of our volunteers and trustees to our Volunteer Thank You Breakfast in early February at the Pitcher and Piano.  Julie Peasgood, our Ambassador, presented service certificates to Carole, Catherine, Kandy, Liz, Louise, Rebecca and Veronica who have been with us for 5 years, and to Carol, Jean and Ros who have been with us for an incredible 10 years!

Thanks to everyone who came to join us.