Home-Start Chichester and District was one of the many charities taking part in the Just Walk event held at Goodwood on Saturday.
The event was organised by Across the Divide and up to 1,000 walkers took part in the event, walking distances ranging from 10km to 60km.
Home-Start Chichester and District, an independent registered charity which supports families with young children, was very well supported with 15 walkers, at least half of whom walked 30kms or more and raised more than £2,000 for the charity.
The walks started off at the racecourse and, depending on the distances, followed footpaths and bridleways across the South Downs National Park to Madehurst and Bignor, then wound their way back across the South Downs Way to above Heyshott before heading south through Charlton and back up to the racecourse.
It was a perfect spring day and the walkers enjoyed the Sussex countryside with the added benefit of coffee stops and lunch, which were provided, breaking up what was a very long day, with the 30km walk taking almost seven hours to complete.
Home-Start Chichester and District provides support and friendship to vulnerable and isolated families, covering an area from Camelsdale in the north to the Witterings and Selsey on the south coast, and from Compton to the west and Wisborough Green to the east.
Trustee Kate Hogan said: “Through informal and confidential support, the charity aims to improve the emotional and physical wellbeing of families, parenting skills and the opportunities for young children to thrive, particularly those aged five and under.
“Home-Start believes that the first five years of a child’s development determine their life chances. It aims to prevent families from falling into a crisis situation and build parents’ confidence so that they can give their children the best possible start in life.”
The charity has a team of fully trained and supported volunteers who are carefully matched with a family depending on their skills and the family’s needs.
Examples of support that a volunteer may give range from helping with menu planning for healthy eating on a budget, taking children out to play and encouraging parents to make use of local amenities such as the toy library and nurseries, as well as signposting them to other support networks such as debt counselling or Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
On average, a volunteer will stay with a family for nine months.
Home-Start Chichester and District’s aim is to encourage families towards independence so that a volunteer is no longer needed.
The charity also runs family groups and arranges social events to give less confident parents the chance to meet other parents in a supported group environment.
To find out more about the charity, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01273 773477. Donations in support of the walk can be made to www.givey.com/justwalkhomestart