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Home-Start Organiser
Jacqueline Vella
Hubbard Flats, Block XII Flat 2,
Cospicua, Malta
Tel: 21678043
Mob: 99018398

Home-Start was introduced in Malta with the support of Agenzija Appogg, Malta’s national agency providing social welfare services for children, families and communities.  Through the sponsorships of HSBC Malta Foundation and Vodafone Malta Foundation, Home-Start Malta was launched in February 2006.  The organiser was recruited and attended training in the UK. A Management Committee was formed which included representatives from Agenzija Appogg.

Home-Start Malta had a few opportunities to meet with other members of Home-Start International whose help proved to be highly beneficial for the setting up of the office in Malta. On the first anniversary of the service, Margaret Harrison, founder of Home-Start, visited Home-Start Malta. This was a very good occasion for all involved in Home-Start at the time.

At first Home-Start Malta targeted families residing in the inner harbour area, that is, the Cottonera and Kalkara areas, since an Appogg social work service was already operating there that was able to identify this as the best place to start operating.  Home-Start next extended to the neighbouring communities but, in time, Home-Start’s popularity grew and requests started coming in from all across the island. Therefore, in 2011, the Management Committee decided to start providing a service for families right across Malta as long as there were enough volunteers to match the families’ needs.

In 2011 Home-Start Malta celebrated its fifth anniversary with a fundraising dinner. This brought together old and current volunteers, the members of the Management Committee, members of the Appogg management, the sponsors and the friends of Home-Start Malta.  This event and other marketing opportunities that year were used to raise Home-Start’s  profile among the  general public. Indeed that year a record number of 15 volunteers were recruited.

Promoting Home-Start is one of our priorities, as it raises the interest of potential volunteers as well as informing families and professionals who work with families, about the service.

Malta has only one scheme covering the whole island.  Up to the end of 2012, Home-Start Malta had 21 active volunteers and was providing a service to 25 families.  Since its inception Home-Start Malta has provided a service to over 100 families.

Home-Start Malta receives its main funds from HSBC Malta Foundation and Vodafone Malta Foundation.  Agenzija Appogg supports Home-Start Malta by providing supervision for the Home-Start organiser and support for the operations and for the day to day running of the office. Home-Start Malta also receives support from the Agency’s finance office and from its marketing team. Since the available funding is not enough to run the service, Home-Start has to organise regular fund-raising activities.

The Home-Start organiser is responsible for a number of tasks that are related to the running of the service: she takes care the recruitment and preparation of the volunteers; she provides regular supervision and constant support to the volunteers; she maintains contact with the families to ensure that the best possible service is provided; and she is involved in the marketing of the service.

In 2012, the main fundraising activity was the publication of a recipe book. Various volunteers and friends of Home-Start contributed to this, which is made up of recipes that families have passed down over the years. Home-Start Malta also sought help from a number of well-known personalities who contributed by giving a favourite recipe. This helped with the popularity of the publication. 

In 2012, Home-Start Gozo (Malta’s sister island) was set up. The organiser is working hard at establishing the service with the support of the Management Committee. The Management Committee still needs to increase its strength but, nevertheless, the first volunteers started the preparation course in February 2013. 

Home-Start Malta plans to continue to consolidate its work and raise the level of awareness of the service.  There are yearly marketing and recruitment exercises for both volunteers and families.

Once the scheme in Gozo is more established, we hope to discuss the possibility of setting up a National Committee.  Fundraising will also remain an annual activity.   
Since volunteers are its most valuable asset, Home-Start will continue to support and train them in order to ensure the best possible service for all families requesting Home-Start.

The latest biennial report is found in this link.

Updated: 21st February 2013 by Catherine Fleri Soler
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