Home-Start Wirral has been awarded £15,000 to help support mothers experiencing mental health issues. This grant will help the charity recruit and train volunteers, helping hundreds of local mothers suffering from post-natal depression and other mental health issues.
Research shows that 10-20% of women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year of having a baby.
Figures also show that there is a higher prevalence of severe mental illness in the Wirral area compared with both the North-West and England average. If left untreated, these issues can have a devastating impact on both mothers and families; children have a greatly increased likelihood of developing behavioural difficulties of their own and failing to fulfill their potential.
Home-Start Wirral trains volunteers, who are parents themselves, to provide tailor-made practical and emotional support to families. The charity says this approach has often proved to be more effective than direct intervention by mental health professionals, who are increasingly referring clients to the charity.
Over the last 17 years, 1,305 Home-Start Wirral volunteers have supported 10,889 families and 12,953 children.
Bev Morgan, Chief Executive of Home-Start Wirral said: “I am very grateful to Cheshire Freemasons for their generous grant, which will allow us to train volunteers who can in turn support dozens of families who need our help.”
Cheshire Freemason Stephen Blank and Peter Carroll visited Home-Start Wirral to find out more about their work. They met with Wirral Home-Start’s Chief Executive, Bev Morgan; Stephanie Leason, Wirral Home-Start’s family support co-ordinator; and local mum, Gemma, who has been helped by the charity. Stephen said:
The Wirral is a very important part of the Masonic Province of Cheshire. My members give generously to support the community at large, so we are very pleased to be able to help Home Start Wirral, who do an outstanding job supporting mothers and families in our community at a time when they are most vulnerable.