A FAMILY charity is inviting residents seeking support and friendship to join its friendship café in Tidworth.

Home-Start North Wiltshire (HS), which helped 79 families and 156 children through weekly home visiting and group work last year, said it is looking to help more local families this year using the £10,000 grant received from the Armed Forces Covent Fund Trust (AFCFT).

Families receive free emotional and practical support from the charity to help them cope with challenges such as isolation, poor health, financial worries, and multiple births.

The Tidworth Friendship café aims to bring local families with children under five together in a calm, supportive environment where parents can meet others and children can play. Snacks and activities for children are provided.

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Help is also offered in accessing the group – whether through a volunteer accompanying a family or transport.

HS scheme manager Tania Rackham said: “We understand how daunting it can be for parents to join a group and meet others – especially with little ones to look after. Our group leader Jane is there to provide a warm, welcoming, and relaxed atmosphere ensuring no one feels alone – with volunteers on hand to listen, chat and play.

“We’re incredibly thankful to the AFCFT for funding the café. We would also like to thank the Army Welfare Service for their support in setting up the pilot project.”

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Tidworth Friendship Café meets every Friday from 10am-12pm at Tidworth Leisure Centre.

The café welcomes both civilian and military families. Children’s activities coming up include crafts, fun games developing children’s fine and gross motor skills and tips on building your babies brain through ‘Look, Say, Sing, Play’.

To book a free place, call or text 07864 652349.

Visit homestartnorthwiltshire.org.uk for more information about Home-Start.