Home-Start Watford and Three Rivers is celebrating 25 years of supporting families.

In 1993, Betty Reed, then chairman, opened the charity’s doors after recognising the need held by many families in the Watford area for home-visiting support. From that point, Home-Start began going above and beyond, offering help to those who ask for it and offering kindness to those who need it.

Since 1993, volunteers have been recruited and trained, the charity publicised, and referrals have flooded in for families facing difficult and stressful times.

The home-visiting charity continues to offer a helping hand to those in need and constantly expanding. Having recently started working in Hertsmere, the reach of Home-Start has been felt by an increasing number of families each year.

Twenty five years later, despite numerous challenges, including funding cuts, Home-Start Watford and Three Rivers are still offering friendship and support for families in times of need.

Every member of the Home-Start Watford and Three Rivers team believes every child has the right to a childhood and supporting parents in a kind and caring way enables children to be children.

This view is shared by Home-Start Watford and Three Rivers' longest serving active member, Liz Arrighi, or ‘Nana Liz’ as the families she works with call her. Liz has served the community for over 17 years, constantly surprised by the new challenges families face and how far a small act of kindness can go.

Of the changing nature of the home, Liz says: "family life just seems to have got more complicated. The biggest challenges now come from parents often being far away from their families or having financial problems. This isn't helped by the cut-backs we've all seen in health and social services.

"The intensity of twenty-first century is no surprise to any of us, but the complex world we live in can be easier to manage with a helping hand.

"Through all the years and all the challenges, Home-Start has kept on going with its simple idea of us volunteers making a weekly visit to the family we're supporting - and they tell us it really helps!"

Although modest, the concept of a little bit of kindness going a long way has helped the charity achieve 25 years of success. To commemorate their landmark achievement, Home-Start Watford and Three Rivers are celebrating the only way they know how, with a Kindness Project.

The idea is simple, the team at Home-Start are asking everyone to pledge to do 25 acts of kindness each for a suggested donation of £1. The £25 generated from all these small acts of kindness will add up to provide a visit from a trained volunteer to a family in need.

These acts need not be moving mountains, simply making a cup of tea, offering to mow a neighbour’s lawn or even letting a family member choose what to watch on telly for the evening will go a long way to supporting the project.

Emma Power, scheme manager, is constantly blown away by the generosity of all the Home-Start volunteers and believes everyone can be involved.

"Every day in Home-Start a little more kindness is sprinkled by Home-Start volunteers in the community, it is the underlying ethos and foundation of our whole organisation! So what better way to celebrate our 25th anniversary other than to launch a sponsored kindness project. Please get involved – change happens one kindness at a time."

So what are you waiting for? If you, individually or teamed up with family and friends, would like to get involved to help support local families, please visit www.home-startwatford.org.uk or follow us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/HomeStartW3R/