Welwyn Hatfield family charity adapts to survive

Home-Start Welwyn Hatfield's manager Caroline Baynes

Home-Start Welwyn Hatfield's manager Caroline Baynes - Credit: Archant

A popular charity service that helps struggling parents cope has slimmed down its structure to ensure it survives the loss of its main funding.

Home-Start, which co-ordinates volunteers to help parents battling poor health and other problems, has feared for its future since Hertfordshire County Council ended its contract in September.

But now bosses of the six Hertfordshire Home-Start branches are promising to maintain their services, thanks to a new centralised structure, which involves cutting numbers of admin staff and managers.

The location of the Hertfordshire head office has not been decided, but the charity will keep its branch in Link Drive, Hatfield.

Acting scheme manager Caroline Baynes said: “it’s business as usual as far as our families and volunteers are concerned.

“While we are making admin and management changes, our much-loved services remain the same.”

Borough councillor Fiona Thomson, chair of the branch’s trustees, said: “In coming together with other schemes across the county we can continue to provide a service in and around Welwyn Hatfield. It would have been disastrous if we’d been forced to close.”