Home-Start Wessex wins Community Support Award

HOME-Start Wessex has received a Community Support Award at the Poole Business Awards 2024 in recognition of its positive impact on the local community.

Organised by Marketing West, the Poole Business Awards recognise and reward local businesses that have significantly contributed to the local economy. First launched in 2021, a spokesperson said entries this year were higher in both number and quality, demonstrating the continued growth of the awards. The awards ceremony took place at Bournemouth University on June 25th and was well attended by over sixty people.

The Community Support Award is open to businesses, individuals and organisations that can demonstrate their involvement and support for their community through services, fundraising or physical or mental support.

Judges described Home-Start Wessex as a ‘worthy winner’ and a ‘very worthy organisation’ doing ‘wonderful work’ in our local community.

They highlighted comments from one of the mothers the charity helped, who said:

“You were the light at the end of a long dark tunnel – thank you … for all (your) love and support and for making me feel that I was important and a good mother. You were my rock at a very difficult time in my and my children’s lives.”

Kathy Fryatt-Banks, CEO of Home-Start Wessex, received the award and said:

“This means a massive amount to us. It’s been a real struggle through the pandemic to keep getting money and grants, and volunteers to help support the families in our organisation. But we’ve continued to grow and grow.

“This year, we actually supported over 500 families, increasing by another 100 families compared to last year. We support families going through a major crisis in their lives for six months. More and more people have needed our services, so thank you very much. This makes a huge difference.”

Since 1995, Home-Start Wessex has helped over 3,500 local families and supported over 10,000 children in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and beyond. Their reach covers the Purbecks, Swanage, Weymouth, Dorchester, Bridport, the whole of the BCP Council area, including Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch, across the borders of Hampshire and Wiltshire, going as far north as Cranborne and Fordingbridge and as far east as New Milton. Their volunteers offer friendship, practical support and advice to families who are facing difficulties, including poor mental health, depression, disability, domestic abuse, bereavement, isolation and multiple births.

Their service is in more demand than ever. If you can commit to 2-3 hours each week to help, please contact [email protected].