01483 740367 info@homestartraw.org

Help us to stay connected with families during the current crisis

Coronavirus will place the greatest strain on families who are already vulnerable, including those isolated, facing financial hardship or suffering domestic abuse and mental health challenges.

While we are unable to support families in their homes during this difficult time, we have adapted our work to stay connected with families.

Increasingly families’ needs are changing.  Our priority is to respond to those very local and urgent needs by staying in contact with them on a regular basis by phone and video chat and offering whatever support we can.

We are connecting the most vulnerable to further hardship support and vital services such as foodbanks, advice agencies and other charitable organisations for things like toys, clothing,  meals etc.

In addition it has become apparent that many families do not have enough resources at home for their children so packs have been delivered containing such items as paper, coloured card, colouring pencils, felt pens, colouring books, glue, scissors, craft activities etc as well as toys, books and games.  We have benefitted from some incredible generosity from organisations and groups in order to provide these items for which we, and the families, are truly thankful.

We all know this is a very difficult time for families and maintaining remote support with calls from both staff and their volunteer will be vitally important for many parents.  But we can’t do it alone. ……. We need support………Please visit our Fundraising page and consider making a donation to enable us to continue to provide the much needed support that families need, especially during these incredibly challenging times.   Thank you.

Rachel, Katie, Georgia and Alice Are Climbing Kilimanjaro

We are climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania for Home-Start Runnymede and Woking because we wish to make a difference to a local charity.

Between 7th and 12th August 2017, we are trekking up to the summit of Kilimanjaro, an expedition which will take 6 days in total. Following the ‘Marangu route’, our trail goes through rainforest, heath and moorland, and develops into alpine desert and ultimately the arctic zone at the peak. We are unbelievably excited to embark on this trip, but are feeling nervous for what is in store and the challenge of facing such high altitude.
In total we will be walking 80km (50 miles) over the six days, reaching the Uhuru peak at 5895m (19,336 ft) above sea level on day 4.
Please donate anything you can to this very worthwhile and deserving cause.

Donation from The Mayor of Runnymede

We were extremely grateful that His Worshipful The Mayor of Runnymede for 2016/17, Cllr Alan Alderson, chose Home-Start Runnymede and Woking to be one of the chosen charities for his year of office.  He had attended our Annual Meeting in the autumn of 2015 and was moved by one of the speakers – a mum that we had supported who spoke quite emotionally about how her Home-Start volunteer had helped her.


We were therefore delighted to hear how much the Mayor and Mayoress had raised and one of our Trustees, Joanna, attended the Council Chambers recently to collect the cheque.   Thank you.

Families Share Their Inspirational Stories

Local Families supported by Home-Start share their journeys as Home-Start Surrey calls for investment in its early intervention approach.


On Thursday 6th October 2016, at the Building Better Futures for Children reception hosted by Sally Marks, Chairman of Surrey County Council and Home-Start Surrey, 5 local families who have received support from Home-Start shared their personal journeys through a documentary film and observational photo-essays:

  • Comfort – a young mum from Uganda who suffered years of domestic abuse
  • Sara – diagnosed with severe mental health issues at 15 following years of childhood abuse and drug addiction
  • Lisa – whose babies were diagnosed with twin to twin transfusion syndrome at 14 weeks
  • Jay – a dad who’s raising his little girl on his own, as his daughter’s mum has progressive Multiple Sclerosis
  • Sally – who struggled to cope with depression and Crohn’s disease whilst looking after her premature twins with breathing problems.

Sally Marks, Chairman of Surrey County Council said:

“Home-Start is one of the most cost-effective charities there is.  They intervene early, stopping many families from reaching crisis point and needing more costly support.  That is why Surrey County Council is offering its full support to Home-Start’s Building Better Futures event.”

Sally also made the point that whilst Surrey was a county that was seen as largely affluent with areas of high wealth, there were also pockets of severe deprivation, creating an even greater divide for those families who are struggling with poverty.


At the event Home-Start Surrey also launches the Building Better Futures for Children Appeal – reaching out for support to help sustain and expand the work we do by inviting supporters, corporates and local businesses to find out more about the work of Home-Start and how the private sector can help make a difference to local families in their community.


From fundraising and donations to volunteering and business mentoring – there are many ways individuals and organisations can get involved.  Please contact us for further information.

Hugh Shanks, Trustee of Home-Start Surrey said:

“As life becomes much harder for many families, the more Home-Start is seeing an increase in referrals.  We could reach out to many more families in Surrey who need support if we had more funding to train and support more volunteers.  That is why we are urging local businesses across the county to get involved”


(Image: Left to right:  Carole Whatnall, Scheme Manager of Home-Start Runnymede and Woking, Sara, a mum supported by Home-Start with her partner, Lee, and Sally Marks, Chairman of Surrey County Council.  Photographer: Andy Newbold)

They did it!  Well done ladies!

They did it! Well done ladies!

They made it to the top of Kilimanjiro with our Home-Start RAW flag - on top of Africa's highest mountain! Alice, Katie, Rachel and Georgia made it all the way to the very top of Kilimanjiro - with our Home-Start RAW flag with the help of their four guides.  It's an...

Building Better Futures for our Children

Home-Start Surrey (a consortium of 8 Home-Start schemes throughout Surrey, of which we are one) hosted a reception at the World Wildlife Fund Headquarters in Woking on 6th October to premier a new documentary film showcasing the difference that this leading, local...

Home-Start Surrey

Home-Start Runnymede and Woking is part of the Surrey consortium of Home-Start organisations.  You can find out more about Home-Start's work across the county at http://www.homestartsurrey.org

Home-Start Surrey

Home-Start Surrey

  6th October 2016 event - Home-Start Surrey to showcase our work with families Home-Start Surrey will be proudly premiering its new documentary film at an early evening event at the World Wildlife Fund Headquarters in Woking on 6th October 2016.    The film,...

2nd Annual Meeting

Home-Start Runnymede and Woking will be holding it's 2nd Annual Meeting - Everybody welcome!! On: Friday 23rd September At: 11.30am tea/coffee available from 11am At: Christ Church, Guildford Road, Ottershaw, KT16 0PB (Free parking is available in the Church car park...

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