Chichester and District Home-Start fun day

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Families across the area came together for a fun day organised by the charity Home-Start.

A total of 10 families and 14 volunteers attended the event at the Bracklesham Barn Community Centre, Bracklesham which was organised by the charity’s Chichester and District branch.

The day was a chance for children, parents and carers and volunteers to relax and included a number of activities for youngsters including play dough, games, biscuit icing.

The toy library based at the Selsey Children and Family Centre also visited and one of the volunteers dressed up as a pirate and led a treasure hunt for children.

Senior coordinator Jacqui Claridge said: “It was nice to get everybody together, the people who came really enjoyed themselves and everybody got to do all the activities.

“It was nice for parents to meet, all the toddlers were playing and parents were chatting and that’s what it was all about.”

The charity was started 40 years ago to provide emotional and practical support to families of young children experiencing difficulties, using trained volunteers who have had children themselves and understand the issues.

The Chichester and District branch was set up two years ago and supports around 40 families.

Parent Emma Joiner and her partner Nick Ryan, from Chichester, welcomed Home-Start’s support when Emma gave birth to their second son Noah last October.

It was their health visitor who recommended they approach Home-Start.

“I was very seriously ill after complications from the birth and needed further surgery.

“I had a three-and-a-half-year-old and our support network was very small, so we needed the extra help and support both practically and emotionally because you can imagine we had a young baby, I was seriously ill and had a toddler who suddenly didn’t have his mum around.

“Our volunteer Marion was a lifeline and really saved our sanity.

“We had somebody we knew we could trust to come and support us.”

The Chichester and District branch is based at the Chichester Children and Family Centre in St James Road, Chichester and can be contacted on 01243 773477.