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Charity supporting young families looking for volunteers in Badenoch and Strathspey

By Gavin Musgrove

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A charity that supports young families is expanding its operations into Badenoch and Strathspey.

Home-Start East Highland is expanding following the award of grant funding and is now looking for volunteers in the area.

The Inverness and Invergordon based organisation is committed to promoting the welfare of families with at least one child under the age of five.

Home-Start is a voluntary organisation committed to promoting the welfare of families with young children.

Volunteers offer support, friendship and practical help to families under stress, in their own homes to prevent family crisis and breakdown.

The charity also runs a Perinatal Infant Mental Health project (PNIMH) that supports the welfare of women throughout pregnancy and through the first two or three years of a child’s life.

The service says it work has been shown to improve mental wellbeing and infant outcomes.

Funding to underpin the project has been sourced from the Scottish Government’s Perinatal Infant Mental Health Fund.

Kathleen Macleod, Home-Start East Highland senior co-ordinator PNIMH, said: “We are using this fund to secure our service throughout the region and to enhance our family support – including a focus on mental health of dads and infants – as well as to make further development for digital and remote support.”

The charity is currently in the process of recruiting and training volunteers in Badenoch and Strathspey.

Volunteers, who are usually parents themselves, will be given specialist training and need only offer as little as two hours or so of their time a week.

Mrs Macleod said: “There is no rulebook for raising a family and sometimes it can be challenging, particularly if your family is going through difficult times.

“This could take the form of helping with healthy eating, budgeting, making or keeping medical appointments, the physical demands of coping with a baby or young children, or simply just talking.

"If you are a mum, dad, grandparent or carer and feel you could make a difference to the lives of parents and children, please contact us”.

Anyone interested should ring Home-Start East Highland on 01349 854018 or email: info@home-starteasthighland.org.uk

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