A CHARITY which gives practical and emotional support to families who may be struggling with parenting is celebrating its 20th anniversary of working in Stroud.

Home-Start marked the occasion by hosting a special picnic for staff and local families in Stratford Park.

As well as plenty of tasty treats, there was face painting and various outdoor fun activities too.

One mum said of the support she received from Home-Start last year: “If it hadn’t been for Home-Start, my family would have lost all hope.

“Every time I think of them, I smile.”

Alex Corgier, scheme manager at Home-Start Stroud District said: “Our work has never been more important; we know that a child’s earliest years are irreplaceable.

“Without a stable, loving and nurturing environment, a very young child will not develop the vital foundations they need.

“Our volunteers make an extraordinary difference to the lives of the parents and children they support. Last year alone we supported over 350 families.

“We also know that volunteering for Home-Start has made a positive difference to our volunteers; whether that be gaining new skills, improving their wellbeing or connecting them to their local community.”

The next training course for new volunteers will commence on September 25.

Further details via homestartsd.org or 01453 297470.