A family support charity is celebrating a fundraising boost.

Home-Start supports families with young children across west Dorset and Weymouth and Portland who find themselves struggling to cope.

Over the last few months is has been the recipient of funds from various causes.

It has received a grant of £5,000 from The Alice Ellen Cooper-Dean Charitable Foundation towards the running costs of the family support service, £1,000 from The Woodward Charitable Trust towards recruiting more volunteers to help families in Weymouth and Portland, and a £500 grant from Bridport Town Council.

Other fundraising successes include £1,297 from an autumn Travelling Trends fashion show in Dorchester, £2,327.52 from the Co-op Local Community Fund, £267 from The Waitrose Dorchester Community Matters Fund, £141.53 in donations from the Brewery Square Halloween Event and £266 from Dorchester Christmas Cracker.

Home-Start says every penny raised throughout the year enables the charity to help parents give their children the best possible start in life, through a unique home-visiting parent volunteer scheme.

Senior organiser Helen Horsley said each family supported by Home-Start is matched with a trained parent volunteer, who visits them at home for 2-3 hours a week, usually for 6 to 12 months. The families face all sorts of challenges, but whatever the circumstances, Home-Start’s caring and dedicated parent volunteers provide a sympathetic ear, non-judgemental friendship and understanding, help in developing positive parenting skills, and signposting to other sources of support.

Family feedback shows that this face-to-face home-based support can make a real difference.

Helen Horsley said Home-Start would be nothing without the local parents and grandparents who volunteer with the scheme, enjoying the opportunity to help others, share their skills and learn new ones, and play an active part in their communities, supported and supervised by Home-Start’s staff organisers.

The staff, trustees volunteers and families would like to thank everyone who has supported the scheme over the year.

Home-Start is now looking to recruit and train more volunteers, and would welcome any enquiries. For more details, please visit homestartwestdorset.co.uk or call 01305 265072.