Family support charity in Dorset launches Cost-of-Living Crisis Appeal to support local families this winter Home-Start Wessex is standing alongside local families through the cost-of-living crisis, with a new appeal launched this month. The campaign aims to support families with young children by raising vital funds to continue their work through these challenging times. The cost-of-living crisis is a disaster for millions of families, and the charity is asking the local community to support their appeal so they can provide compassionate, non-judgemental support because childhood can’t wait for the economy to recover. In a recent survey by Home-Start UK, 74% of families said they were expecting to need financial support this winter, with their children unable to sleep because they are cold and hungry. In 2022, Home-Start Wessex helped a record 300 families across Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and beyond. Demand increased by 30% as more families struggled to cope and needed their help. Volunteers provide practical, compassionate and emotional support to parents whose worries about finance are adding to the challenges of post-natal depression, isolation, physical health problems and bereavement. Alongside one-to-one support, they also run five family groups and weekly ‘Wellness Walks’ to help families get outside and connect with others whilst having fun and getting some exercise. Home-Start Wessex is also working with other local organisations to make sure the families they support get the emergency supplies or expert help they need. Kathy Fryatt-Banks, Chief Executive of Home-Start Wessex, said, “Parents from across the area are telling us how they are worried because they can’t afford to heat their homes and are missing meals to buy nappies and food for their babies. We know times are tough for many people at the moment. But please give whatever you can. Even a small amount will make a huge difference in preventing families’ suffering this winter.” By donating to the Cost-of-Living Crisis appeal, you will ensure that Home-Start Wessex can continue delivering vital services to local families. To donate, please visit their Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/homestartsoutheastdorset. You can also support families this winter by becoming a Home-Start volunteer and ensuring that a family facing the cost-of-living crisis has the support they need. No special qualifications are necessary, and full training will be provided. Find out more by contacting [email protected] or visiting https://homestartwessex.org.uk/.