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13 March 2019

MSP Visits Home Start Deveron

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson enjoyed a recent visit to Home Start Deveron in Carmelite Street, Banff. The MSP met with the recently-appointed Senior Co-ordinator, Martin Robertson, and called in on the staff, volunteers, mums and babies of the ‘Baby Buddies’ group which meets at the Home Start centre every Friday.
Home Start Deveron has been supporting families across the Deveron Valley area since 1999 and formed a consortium with other schemes across the Aberdeenshire area back in 2015. The Deveron group covers the Banff and Macduff, Turriff and Huntly areas, offering advice and support to families with younger children, and is affiliated with Home-Start UK/Scotland, a leading family support charity.

In 2016/17 Home-Start Deveron supported 366 families through a combination of 1:1 home-visiting support, group sessions & social events. Support is tailored to each family and their individual needs, and Home Start works with the whole family.

The organisation also recruits and trains volunteers to visit families within their own home for 2-3 hours per week to offer informal, friendly, non-judgemental and confidential support. In addition to the Senior Co-ordinator, there are two Family Support Workers who support families on a 1-1 basis as well as running groups alongside volunteers. Families are mainly referred to Home Start via a range of agencies through the Aberdeenshire Health & Social Care Partnership, or by self-referrals direct through the office.

Home-Start Deveron helps families facing many different challenges, these include but are not limited to rural/social isolation, post-natal depression, families affected by disability, chronic or terminal illness, or affected by substance misuse or domestic abuse.

Speaking of his visit, Mr. Stevenson said:

“I was extremely impressed by my visit to Home Start and very much enjoyed meeting with the mothers and children of the ‘Baby Buddies’ group. It was great to see the youngsters interacting with each other, while the young mums were able to enjoy the companionship of others as they joined the children at play.

“The staff members and volunteers were very positive and enthusiastic and helped to facilitate exercise, music and play activities in a very relaxed and pleasant atmosphere.”

Stewart Stevenson
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