Charity appeal for help

A CRAIGAVON family support charity has issued an appeal for new volunteers.

The appeal comes after a YouGov survey revealed that around 40% of parents with young children under five have felt at ‘breaking point’ because of the stress and strains of family life.

Deborah Millar, co-ordinator of Home-Start in Craigavon, described the situation in the borough as “very bad”.

“Many young families feel isolated,” she said.

“They don’t know where to turn when they have problems and are not aware of the help that is available to them.

“Every year, around 45 families in the Craigavon area are turning to us for help as they face crises such as poverty, isolation, depression, behavioural issues, illness and disability.

“We support 110 vulnerable children across the Borough and our services are being stretched.

“I have worked here for 14 years, and I have never seen things as bad as they are now.”

She continued: “In some parts of the country Home-Start cannot keep up with the demand.

“We believe that there are an unacceptable number of families at breaking point so we are continuing to recruit and train volunteers who have been parents themselves to support a family just a couple of hours a week to help reduce this stress and stop families from breaking down.

If you are interested in supporting a family for two or three hours a week, contact Home-Start on 3834 5357 or email

New volunteer preparation will start in February.

For further information on Home-Start see