“Joanie and I are really excited about running the Half-Marathon for Home-Start Reading! We are both passionate about young families having a positive start in life and we are proud to be supporting their fantastic work with local families. It is a great opportunity for us to raise much needed funds, whilst challenging ourselves to do something we’ve never tried before. 5 months ago we started the Couch to 5K programme to see if we had any chance of running, and now we’re on track for the 17th March. Please do support us.” - Marion
“Home-Start Reading has been working hard supporting families in Reading for decades. As they don’t have a marketing team so I’m proud to be doing my bit to help raise awareness and some much needed funding” - Adam
“Home-Start Reading do some outstanding work with local families in need. I’m proud to be supporting this local charity.” - Matt Rodda MP for Reading East
“I am a 63 year old Grandad to four grandchildren, who all receive Home-Start Reading support. Not only has Home-Start benefited them and helped prepare them for school, but Home-Start Reading has helped my daughter get out of her house and socialise, which with four children is difficult! Home-Start Reading has always been helpful and welcoming to me and my family and I am running the Reading Half Marathon for them to give something back.” - Brian
“Reading has many needy and disenfranchised people. When families are trying to manage, whilst they are also dealing with health and social issues, they need support. I want to raise money for Home-Start Reading to help give children a future!” - Leon
“I've never run a half marathon before, and when one of my good friends told me she was running The Reading Half Marathon this year for a charity that she volunteers for, I wanted to know more. So I found out about Home-Start Reading and I was really impressed by the work they do in the community for families with young children. I know how tough it is to look after small children and I know that I personally relied heavily on the support of family and friends during those years (mine are now 6 and 9, so it's a little less exhausting). For those without support networks, charities like Home-Start can make all the difference and can help give kids in those families a great start. This work is especially important now that austerity has led to the closure of Sure Start centres.” - Cathy
"My mother-law is a Trustee of a wonderful local charity in Reading called Home-Start. Jan has asked me to run the Reading half-Marathon to raise money for Home-Start. My challenge is to run it in under 1.5hrs. I am doing the running and Jan is doing the fundraising. So please dig deep and give a few quid to this small local charity that does so much to support families."
"I am running the Reading half marathon for Home-Start Reading because I have been supported by their group for over 2 years ago. Not long before I joined, I was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy. I also lived with my family in a temporary house. It was a very stressful time for me, although I had the support of my amazing partner and family and friends I still felt slightly lost, and that's where home start comes in, they gave me somewhere to go with my youngest son once a week to play and talk to other mums who have children the same age as mine. I got more confidence in myself and my ability to be a good mum. I cannot explain how much they have helped me in various different ways" Frankie
Offering support, friendship & practical help
Home-Start was started in 1973 by Margaret Harrison OBE who believed that supporting a family was best done in their home where it can be shaped to the needs of the family. She realised that if parents get support and friendship from another parent, they will be better equipped to learn to cope with the many difficulties life can bring, and will be able to give their children the best possible start to their own lives.
Home-Start Reading opened in 1984 by two health visitors who believed that the approach would benefit local families. We have grown over the last 30 years and become one of the most professional and trusted local family support charities.
We offer free and face-to-face support to local families who are under stress, help prevent family crisis and emphasise the pleasures of family life. One supported family said that the “support you provide for families is priceless and is the reason many families succeed where they were struggling before”.
We help parents grow in confidence, strengthen their relationships with their children and widen their links with the local community, which helps give their children the best possible start in life. We are committed to offering a service to families regardless of their religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation or ethnic background.
Below is an extract from our annual report. Have a look why we were needed in 2017-2018.and the difference we helped make.