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HomeStart Caithness Manager In Running for Guardian Award - Vote For Her

19th February 2015

Photograph of HomeStart Caithness Manager In Running for Guardian Award - Vote For Her

The Business Services Co-ordinator of HomeStart Caithness, Rosemary Smith, has been one of 5 people shortlisted (out of 155 nominations) for a place in the prestigious charity "Trailblazer of the Year Award" run by Guardian newspaper.

Rosemary has been involved with Home-Start Caithness since 2010 and initially became involved as a home-visiting volunteer. In November 2011, Rosemary was elected to the Board of Trustees as Volunteer Representative and then in October 2013, was appointed as Chairperson. Rosemary has a background in HR and provides staff with supervisory support.

In February 2014, Rosemary was presented with an engraved award for outstanding service and commitment to the scheme due to the considerable amount of hours she put into helping support the HomeStart Caithness board and staff as well as continue as a volunteer supporting families in her local area.

In October 2014 Rosemary stepped down as Chair in order to take up position as our co Co-ordinator (Business Services) on 15 hours per week.

Now that the board numbers are looking better Rosemary is giving her full attention to developing the services for Caithness and into the possibilities of creating new services further out from Caithness into parts of Sutherland. She has given up her position as director to ensure there is no conflict between the two roles. From volunteer to board member to manager Rosemary has been enthusiastic at all levels and win in this competition would be a great boost for the group as well as recognition for her hard work.

Please follow the link to see all 5 nominations and place your VOTE - HomeStart Caithness web site

Across the UK more than 15,000 Home-Start volunteers visit families at home each week, supporting parents in situations as diverse as isolation, bereavement, multiple births, illness, disability or who are just finding parenting a struggle. They provide non-judgemental practical and emotional support and help build the family's confidence and ability to cope. The only requirement for a family to access our support is that they have at least one child less than five years of age.

"Home-Start has helped me through one of the toughest times in my life and I can't imagine how it would have been withough them. They gave me support, encouragement and reassurance and helped me to learn to laugh and enjoy myself again". A mother, Scotland.
Home-Start Caithness was set up in 1999 by a group of local people who realized that many families in Caithness needed a bit of extra support during the most formative years of their children's lives. Since then, the scheme has grown from strength to strength, employing three members of staff and with around 20 volunteers providing support to more than 40 families per year.

Supporting local families
Every year, Home-Start Caithness provides support to just over 40 local families. Parent volunteers offer support and friendship to other parents through home-visiting, via our family group and drop in and through social events. Volunteers are recruited, trained and supported by three paid members of staff: Rachel Jolly and Rosemary Smith, Scheme Coordinators and Dorothy Ross, Administrator. Home-Start Caithness is an indepenant charity in it's own right, and is overseen by an elected Board of Trustees. We are part of the national Home-Start network and received support from Home-Start UK through which we benefit from almost 40 years of experience of supporting families in the UK. We are subject to a stringent Quality Assurance system that ensures that all schemes are working at the same, high level of professionalism.

Working preventatively with parents and children
Families need support for many reasons: perhaps they are struggling to cope with postnatal illness, a child's disability, family breakdown or bereavement or maybe they feel isolated and unable to connect with their local community. Whatever the reason, Home-Start Caithness provides non-judgemental practical and emotional support and helps build the family's confidence and ability to cope.

The day a family decides it no longer needs Home-Start support is a good day for Home-Start.

A value for money service
Home-Start Caithness is an independent charity and receives core funding from the Highland Council and NHS Highland. Additional funding is sought through local fundraising and from various trusts and grant making organisations. Home-Start Caithness currently receives money from:

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