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Home-Start schemes are supporting families in eight countries in Europe, with schemes in two futher countries almost ready to place volunteers with families in need.

In several countries, more than half the population lives in an area served by a Home-Start scheme, and we are aiming to extend our support to more and more parents and children every year.

  • In the Czech Republic, the dynamic team has been working in Prague since 2003 and hopes to set up another scheme in Brno in 2007-08.
  • Home-Start Denmark has a national committee and a part-time national coordinator, who are preparing three local schemes with another three coming up. They are already receiving queries from volunteers and families.
  • Home-Start in France is called Paseo, which means "stroll with friends" in Spanish. Paseo was created in August 2006 by Laurence Relin, a former volunteer in the UK. The charity is located in Nîmes, in the south of France. Paseo is already training its first volunteers and hopes to train another 16 in 2008.
  • In Greece, we have two schemes, and the team is working towards funding for two new schemes in the city of Volos.
  • In Hungary, we have a network of 27 schemes, led by committed, highly trained co-ordinators, mostly running schemes on a shoestring, reaching out to parents and families across the country.
  • Home-Start in Ireland has a team of committed volunteers visiting families in Blanchardstown, Lucan, Tullamore and Athenry. They hope to secure more funding to expand the service in Ireland.
  • In Lithuania the main motto of the Home-Start team is “Per aspera ad astra”.  We have a young and energetic director, coordinators, specialists and volunteers, who are going to develop Home-Start services in Klaipeda, Western Lithuania, and in the period of 2007-2008, to set up 1-2 schemes in other regions of Lithuania.
  • Home-Start in Malta is celebrating its first anniversary, and planning another recruitment exercise for volunteers. They aim to expand the service to two or three other localities around the original locality of Cottonera.
  • In the Netherlands, Home-Start is working to enhance Home-Start and to expand to 100 schemes by 2009.
  • Home-Start Norway has 27 schemes, in a country of only 4.7 million people. An innovative three-year project supports families with chronically ill or disabled children – the team is hoping to integrate this successful project into their mainstream work.
  • Home-Start began in the UK back in 1973 and the very first scheme set up in Leicester continues to support families. A further 350 local schemes are guided and supported by Home-Start UK, the central body. Home-Start UK is one of the major family support organisations in the UK, supporting 34,000 families with about 70,000 children through 15,000 volunteers and more than 1,500 members of staff.

In all European countries we see families struggling with poverty, social exclusion and ill health. We also support many parents who were themselves brought up in social care, in institutions or in families that were not their own.

Everywhere in Europe, parents are reaching out a hand in friendship to help other parents in need.

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