Helping families in crisis

Raising a family can bring its challenges at the best of times but for many, the past three years have been particularly difficult.

The Covid pandemic, followed by the current cost of living crisis, are continuing to have a severe impact on many families across the country.

In Aberdeenshire, Home-Start – a nationwide initiative with a local focus – is working tirelessly to provide direct support to families where it is needed the most. And at the heart of its projects are children and ensuring that they and their families get the very best support and help during those precious early years.

Dee Street-based Home-Start Aberdeen provides practical guidance as well as support, and currently has a network of more than 60 trained volunteers working with around 200 families every year.

Through its outreach work, Home-Start Aberdeen has seen young families particularly hit hard by the impact of the pandemic, with incidents of mental health problems amongst parents on the rise. Meanwhile, repeated lockdowns have had implications for many children, who have missed out on the play, learning and socialisation opportunities that are essential to their early years’ development.

The Home-Start team is now seeing an increase in the number of families struggling to afford everyday essentials such as food and heating. Which is where a surprise £1,000 donation from the JEllie Foundation is hopefully going to help.

To support their vital work, Home-Start Aberdeen was chosen as one of the local recipients of the JEllie Foundation’s #JEllieJoy Advent campaign.

Home-Start Aberdeen’s general manager, Eleanor McEwan, said the donation would go towards their work with some of the most vulnerable children and their families.


“We will be using the funding from the JEllie foundation to set up a Crisis Fund for families during the coming year. This will allow us to help families by providing them with supermarket vouchers, help with energy costs, and help to buy essential items including baby equipment, clothes, books and toys.”


Eleanor said the support from the JEllie Foundation was a welcome boost.  “We know that this will make a huge difference to the children and families we support.”




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