Being a parent has never been easy, but the pandemic has turned families’ lives upside down, creating added anxiety and increased pressure. Lockdowns and Covid-19 have taken a toll on every family but they have had a disproportionate impact on vulnerable families.
Throughout the last year we have continued to work alongside vulnerable families helping them through the hardest of times and preventing them, from slipping into crisis. Our preventative, early intervention approach acknowledges that the first five years of a child’s life are the most important in shaping their future. During this time, children need nurturing care from their parents and caregivers. The quality of the relationships that surround children, and a positive home environment are key to promoting wellbeing, healthy relationships and school success later in life.
Through individual volunteer support and a range of group activities, we have helped families to feel less isolated and more socially connected. With our help and support parents and children regain quality time with each other, and the wellbeing of the whole family improves.
Our 2020/2021 Impact report shines a light on the devastating impact that the pandemic has had on vulnerable families and the vital role that Home-Start Wandsworth has played in supporting these families to avoid crisis.
Isolation, children’s behaviour and mental health issues were found to be main concerns for parents.
- 75% of parents felt isolated
- 52% of parents felt particularly worried about their children’s behaviour
- 76% of parents were concerned about their mental health
We worked hard to address issues of digital exclusion to ensure that families, staff and volunteers remained connected through the pandemic. These strengthened social support networks have been instrumental in promoting positive wellbeing and protecting families against the detrimental effects of stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic. The report also highlights the value of the tailored and responsive support that is freely given to families by our volunteers. For some, contact from their Home-Start volunteer constituted the only meaningful conversation they had from week to week during the pandemic.