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Annual Report: Butser Home Start 2016

The last year has been very successful as Home-Start Butser has continued to provide a critical service to local families in need but it has been a challenging year financially, in terms of raising funds and securing funding grants.

The service is in constant demand; we provide home visiting and family support to parents who face a broad spectrum of social, emotional, health and behavioural challenges. Over the past year we have supported 77 families and some 168 children; we continue to see a growing demand for home visits and also an ongoing increase in the number of families with complex needs.

Our success is based on our ability to place experienced, trained volunteers with families who are facing difficulties in their lives. The engagement of the volunteers with parents and children makes a real difference in giving families a better start in life. We are therefore pleased to have recruited 14 new volunteers who completed their training course in the last year. We also want to say a special “thank you” to those volunteers who have stood down during the year, for generously donating their time and parental expertise to provide practical help and emotional support to so many families. 

Our two Family Groups continued each week throughout 2015/16 and provided both a welcome meeting place for families and strong support networks. Going forward we are moving the Horndean group to Clanfield to respond to the growing demands on our services as well as the housing developments in that area.

We have had very mixed year financially; securing restricted funding for projects, such as the new Clanfield Family Group, but failing, for the first time in many years to achieve our break even targets. However, we remain well positioned in terms of reserves for the coming year and the Trustee Board took time out in January to re-assess future sources of income and developed a strategy to pursue a series of different revenue streams to meet our 2016/17 financial requirements.

I would like to thank my colleagues on the Trustee Board for their energy and creativity in finding new sources of funding grants and in their tireless fundraising activities.

I am pleased to report that the organisation and governance of Home-Start Butser is in good shape. and we have been fortunate to increase the skills and experience base of the Trustee body with Philip Mabe and Fiona Smart joining as new Trustees during the year.

Finally, I would like to thank all the many individuals, groups and organisations that have supported Home-Start Butser over the past year; your generous donations of time and money have enabled us to make a real difference to families in need in our local community.

Nicola Winter

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