Speaker from Homestart Bradford Christine Gaffey, Operations Manager and Salema Hartoon Officer

Wed, Feb 14th 2024 at 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Home-Start Bradford is a voluntary organisation committed to promoting the welfare of families with at least one child under five years of age. - Speaker Finder Roy Tate, Visitors Host, Grace & Banners Ken Senior, Cash Desk & Sergeant at Arms Alan Arthur


Home-Start Bradford District is part of the Home-Start UK network but is an independant charity. The National organisation provide training, information, guidance and Quality Assurance to local Home-Starts across the country, ensuring consistent, good quality support for parents and children.

They train and coordinate volunteers to provide weekly visits to families who need a little extra help with parenting skills, with their or their children’s wellbeing, or with practical household skills. Their volunteers visit their family each week, working with them to bring about the changes they want to see in their lives.

The Bradford charity support young families, mothers with post-natal depression or other mental health issues as well as families with twins or triplets. The volunteers must have some experience, for example, previously having ben parents or have professional training.

Support is given to a family for between 6 weeks up to 6 months and occasionally 9 months. Sometimes other agencies are also involved particularly if children on at risk register.

The Bradford organisation merged with Shipley Keighley Homestart to produce District wide support They get some funding from the National Lottery. They have 30 volunteers; this number is much reduced since Covid. They do not get any funding from the umbrella Homestart UK.  The Henry Smith charity very helpful and they also get some funding from likes of a supermarket in Otley.

It takes roughly £1500 to support each family per year. Salema is a paid volunteer, and she sees to the organisation of new families and new volunteers. Besides the weekly meetings they also have a Christmas Party and separate party for volunteers. Santa gives presents to all children even the teenagers.

They used to get help from Sure Start but that stopped and was replaced by Better Start. But now that stopping also.

The idea is not to go in and doing for the family but rather to help them to pick up at end of plan. There are assessments at 6 weeks and 3 months to ensure things heading towards a plan end. They only work with children up to 5 years old. The plan should be in place to ensure they pull out by then.

For more information visit their web site at https://homestartbradford.co.uk/

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