Annual Review

Autumn Newsletter 2021

Press Release

Have a read through some of our press releases.


We are delighted to announce that Home-Start Thanet was selected to receive a prestigious award at the Kent Volunteering Awards 2021.

The presentation ceremony took place on 4 December at the Ashford International Hotel and we were represented by 2 of our longest-standing volunteer Mentors, Jenny and Sandra, and 2 of our Trustees, Linda and Kathryn.

We would like to thank all our loyal and hardworking volunteer Mentors and our Trustees for all they have done and continue to do for local families.


Homestart Thanet

Homestart Thanet

Homestart Thanet

Homestart Thanet



Home-Start Thanet is part of a £5m national partnership with John Lewis, Waitrose and FareShare to support the UK's struggling families. 

A new partnership, launched between Home-Start, FareShare, John Lewis & Waitrose, aims to create an outpouring of kindness to help Britain's struggling families this Christmas.

This festive season is sure to be one like no other. Parenthood is challenging enough in normal times but the current pandemic has added layers of anxiety, uncertainty and isolation.

Home-Start Thanet have been there for families when they've needed support most. As part of a network of 180 Home-Starts across the country, Home-Start Thanet have moved essential support services on-line to stay connected with families through their team of 28 volunteers, providing emotional and practical support and linking families into other community services such as their local foodbanks.  We have seen social distancing and isolation placing enormous strain on families.

This exciting new campaign with the John Lewis Partnership aims to raise £5m for the work of Home-Start and FareShare through a nationwide effort to encourage communities and customers to embrace the Christmas spirit and give what they can.

Funds raised will enable Home-Start to support families in communities across the country through volunteer visits and friendship, and FareShare to support essential food provision for families in low income households. An additional £1m has been allocated to local John Lewis and Waitrose stores to work directly with local Home-Starts and FareShares to help families hit hardest by Covid-19.  Together, the partnership aims to support at least 100,000 families.

Sharon Lewis, Home-Start Thanet's Executive Manager said: "This new and exciting partnership has come at exactly the right time and for right reasons and this gives us as a frontline charity an even greater opportunity to deliver support interventions to families who could so easily fall through the net through isolation, unemployment and subsequent financial hardship.

Home-Start Thanet supports local families and has been doing so for over 3 decades. This year, as we are all aware, has been extremely challenging for all of us but even more so for many of our Thanet families who already faced difficult and stressful times without Coronavirus descending upon them. Coronavirus has caused such devastation in all aspects of our lives but the psychological impact is becoming alarmingly more concerning: we are seeing a rapid decline in parents' mental health and a rise in child anxiety and challenging behaviours, all of which is compounded by Thanet being one of the most deprived areas in Kent. Subsequently, this is reflected in the high numbers of referrals and complexities so many of our families face. However, with this joined-up partnership, life for so many families will improve, not only locally but throughout the UK which is absolutely brilliant." 

Peter Grigg, CEO, Home-Start UK said: "This powerful campaign will ensure Home-Start is there for families who need us most. We have seen first-hand how the pandemic is pushing families to the edge, especially those already facing significant challenges in their lives. Working with John Lewis Partnership colleagues, customers and communities, we can reach more families and communities at this vital time. We are so proud to partner in this exciting ambition to transform the lives of thousands of families and children this Christmas and beyond. We have been overwhelmed by the kindness shown to our communities during the pandemic. But there is so much more to do."

Pippa Wicks, Executive Director of John Lewis & Partners said "In a year like no other, the world has changed - so we will be delivering a Christmas campaign like no other. During 2020 we've seen some inspiring and heart-warming acts of kindness throughout our country and our communities."

"Now we want to build on this spirit to create a legacy that extends well beyond Christmas. Together we can all make a big difference to the families who need our help most."

James Bailey, Executive Director of Waitrose & Partners said "This year has created even greater inequality in society with a catastrophic effect on some of the most vulnerable and we are determined to play our part in addressing this.

Everyone has a right to nourishment and a safe, warm home and we believe that as a Partnership, we can be an enduring force for good, which lasts well beyond Christmas.

We don't just want to talk about it, we want every customer, community and Partner to show their kindness in supporting these causes."

Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive at FareShare added "In what has been an incredibly tough year for so many, more people than ever are turning to local charities and community groups for support because they simply can't afford the food they need to feed their families and themselves. At FareShare, the demand for food has more than doubled as a result of the pandemic so this partnership comes at such a crucial time. We are so delighted to partner with Waitrose and John Lewis to provide support for the thousands of people in need across the UK in the run up to Christmas and over the winter months"

For more information:  Sharon Lewis, Executive Manager and Embrace Counsellor  01843 609663 or 01843 609665 or check out our Facebook page








Please read this story of one of our families and their battle against Menkes disease and their wonderful attempt to turn their personal tragedy into something positive by taking on this amazing challenge to raise awareness of the disease:

Margate parents take on O2 challenge in memory of two-year-old son Eli


Home-Start Thanet wellbeing programme receives National Lottery funding

Representatives from the Big Lottery Fund presenting Home-Start Thanet with a cheque for £496,748

Representatives from the Big Lottery Fund presenting Home-Start Thanet with a cheque for £496,748

Home-Start Thanet is delighted to announce that we have been awarded almost £500k of National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, to deliver a four-year programme supporting local wellbeing.

The Embrace Programme - Strengthening Psychological Wellbeing - will make an enormous difference to local parents and children suffering with low mood, depression and anxiety.

Through the programme, trained volunteer mentors and skilled staff will offer weekly home visits, listening and guidance, with our non-judgmental support promptly and effectively delivered into the family home.

Home-Start Thanet will also offer the Embrace Counselling Service, a ten-week programme of one-to-one sessions in a safe nurturing environment. This will allow parents to take time out for themselves to talk through feelings and concerns that prevent them moving forward. As well as lifting their mood, it will also give them the tools and a new approach to deal with personal issues and change behaviours providing skills to cope with change and the demands they face.

Sharon Lewis, Executive Manager of Home-Start Thanet, said: "We are grateful for the continued support from the Big Lottery Fund. The next few years will give us an excellent opportunity to meet families that could have otherwise been lost without effective support, and help them to move forward towards a stronger personal and family life."

Families impacted by psychological issues has fast become one of the top reasons for referral with parents feeling emotionally overwhelmed, extremely stressed, tearful and fearful. Struggling to deal with their own emotional health can impact on how they interact with their partner, wider family and children. Going out becomes an obstacle, socialising is avoided and the sense of isolation and low mood increases rapidly.

There has also been a recorded increase in children as young as five displaying negative behaviours and anxiety/low mood. This new programme will guide with the transition period as the child leaves the home environment to start his/her exciting journey into nursery or school. We will also support parents to seek out professional assessments if required.

For additional information on the areas we cover and the range of services we provide please contact us or call us on 01843 609665.

Contact Details

01843 609665

Kent Innovation Centre
Millennium Way
CT10 2QQ


Social Media

Website by

Broadbiz Web Services Ltd. logo