We are delighted to have awarded Home-Start Kennet a grant of £15,000 to support military and veteran families in Wiltshire.

Home-Start Kennet is part of Home-Start UK; one of the UK’s leading family support charities. Founded in 1973 by Margaret Harrison, the charity offers support, friendship and practical help to parents with young children. It works with families at times of difficulty to overcome challenges and give children the best possible start in life.

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity’s grant will support Home-Start Kennet to meet the specialised needs of military families in the community. In recent years, the Government’s Army Basing Programme – the mass relocation of service personnel to the Salisbury Plain area – has brought a significant increase in the number of military and veteran families moving to Wiltshire. Some of these families experience challenges particular to their circumstances, ranging from isolation as a result of ruralism or military deployment, post-traumatic stress disorder, disability, bereavement or poverty.

In response to this, Home-Start Kennet is launching their Moving In Moving On 2 (MIMO2) project – which will be delivered in partnership with Home-Start South Wiltshire. The scheme will offer group activities, information and support to military and veteran families making the transition to life in Wiltshire, whilst providing those already there with the support to integrate more fully into the community.

Families participating in MIMO2 will be invited to attend a series of weekly group sessions in their local area. The aim is to provide families with the opportunity to share and seek support in a sympathetic environment, staffed by people familiar with the challenges they face. The programmes will be driven by the needs of the group, to include sessions on health, education and employment, self-care, coping skills and developing local support.

Tania Rackham, Home-Start Kennet Scheme Manager, explained, “Parenting can be tough for any family but military life can bring its own additional challenges. By offering peer group support, parents can share their experiences, make new friends and find better ways to cope. Feedback from the pilot group was fantastic and, thanks to the generous donations from the RBL and The Soldiers’ Charity, we’re thrilled we can build on this success and support even more families.”

Brigadier (Ret’d) Robin Bacon, Chief of Staff at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, adds: “We are delighted to support Home-Start Kennet’s MIMO2 project. This scheme, based on the success of an earlier pilot project, promises to bring lasting change to military families in the Wiltshire area, providing them with the tools to integrate most fully into their local community. We value the emphasis Home-Start Kennet places on the health and happiness of the Army family and applaud them for their excellent work.”