On the evening of the 7 October 2023 Home-Start Merton celebrated their 30th anniversary at The All England. The event was attended by The Mayor of Merton, Barbara Cluer, who set up the scheme in 1993, Sharon Ashby, the current managing Director of Home-Start Merton, our staff and trustees, our first volunteer Councilor Agatha Akyigyina OBE along with distinguished guests.
The event was sponsored by Wimbledon Homes, CC Construction, Sean Mcinnes sports coaching, Peacock & Co Solicitors, Belderbos landscapes, Elite private fitness, and Skin by Anel Lamine.
Shona Moth and her team, Julie, Kellyann, Lisa and Yuzi planned the event for over 6 months and what a fantastic night it was. Raising over 40k to enable Home-Start Merton to support more families living in Merton.
What is Home-Start Merton?
Home-Start Merton is a charity, with a small team of paid staff, 7 Trustees and 38 parent volunteers. Three of the amazing volunteers, their friends and family, all led by Shona Moth. Home-Start Merton self-fund along with grant funding from The Taylor Family Foundation, The Dorus Trust, The Generations Foundation, The Paul Strank Charitable trust and Wimbledon District Nursing and Midwifery Benevolent Society.
Home-Start Merton is a local community network of trained volunteers and expert support, helping children pre-birth and up to 5 years. We help families through their challenging times. We are there for parents and children when they need us the most because childhood can’t wait.
Home-Start supports families who are facing challenges that are often overwhelming. Parenting is meant to be a joyful time with challenges along the way that we deal with as parents.
Working alongside families
Being a parent has never been easy. It can be lonely, frustrating, heart-breaking, and overwhelming.
Life changing events can happen to anyone. All parents struggle at one time or another. That is why Home-Start Merton is ready to support families through their toughest times.
Home-Start Merton volunteers support families with individual one-to-one home visiting and a wide range of targeted support for parents and their children. Home-Start Merton works with families experiencing challenges including:
- Loneliness and isolation
- Relationship difficulties
- Ill health
- Disability or special needs
- Domestic abuse
- Mental health issues
Just 2 hours a week can make a big difference to a parent and their children.
We work with families to build on their strengths and give them the support they tell us they need.
We provide weekly groups for parents and children who are supported by Home-Start Merton.
Counselling is offered to parents currently supported by Home-Start Merton. Parents struggling with their wellbeing are offered one-hour weekly sessions for 8 weeks.
Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Service
Our Perinatal Service, is for families who are currently supported by the specialist Perinatal Teams at St Georges’ Hospital, St Helier Hospital, Springfield Hospital, and by Health Visitors. It is for pregnant and new parents with low level mental ill health. Our Happy Steps group runs as part of this service.
Big Hopes, Big Futures
This is Home-Start Merton’s school readiness programme. We offer strategies and suggestions on managing behaviour, routines, and early development with the aim of the child being school or nursery ready.
Home Learning Champions
Our volunteers are trained to support children with reading. This is to encourage the joy of reading and the love of books.
Parents Supporting Parents
Home-Start Merton’s volunteers work alongside families to give compassionate and confidential support, tailored to each family and its needs.
The website www.homestartmerton.co.uk is available with more information.