WELCARE (East Surrey): a charity we should all support.

Welcare is part of Southwark Diocese and was originally established over a hundred years ago to offer assistance to unmarried mothers (often young women who had become pregnant in service and whose parents disowned them because of the pregnancy and the social stigma associated with it).

Today, the work of Welcare in East Surrey is for families with young children or expecting a baby, who need help, support or advice, often at times of change or stress. It is based at 24 Warwick Road in Redhill and serves a wide area, including Reigate, Horley, Brockham, Banstead, Tadworth, all of Tandridge and, of course, Redhill itself. It also functions as a Sure Start Children’s centre.

Welcare firmly believes that “with a little help at the right time, a crisis may be prevented."

Welcare’s mission statement is:

“Welcare is a Christian Charity, which works with children and families in need, irrespective of faith, culture, abilities or life choices, to achieve a better quality of life for children and families. It seeks to provide services in response to local needs which encourage self-help and build communities.”

Its main aims are to:

  • Improve life opportunities for parents and children
  • Promote positive parenting
  • Empower parents and children by building confidence and self-esteem
  • Work towards enhancing family relationships
  • Develop a sense of community and alleviate isolation
  • Encourage growth through play
  • Provide opportunities to have fun with others

Welcare achieves these goals through a huge range of services and the dedicated work of the cheerful team which includes family support workers, a social worker, toy librarian and administrative staff. Family support means working directly with the children and families, with a strong emphasis on managing children’s behaviour, parenting and play. Much practical help is also given, for example good quality second-hand clothes, toys and nursery equipment as well as emergency food parcels.

Home visits can be very helpful to show the importance of play in child development and bonding and Welcare workers provide play opportunities and ideas in the home while the parent/carer is present. There is also a Merstham Playlink which offers drop-in sessions and a very popular Toy Library.

Group sessions also form an important part of the work of Welcare and this includes parenting groups, children’s groups, activities for young parents, crèche support and workshops in a wide variety of subjects, such as cookery and budgeting. Social activities are also arranged, such as parties and outings to help develop friendships and happy family memories.

If a family or a single parent/carer needs specialised help, Welcare is also able to arrange legal advice and a confidential listening service. As one parent recently stated, “Welcare is always there for us – whether it’s a major problem or an itsy bitsy one. Thank you!”

We can all help to support Welcare in many different ways:

  • By donating good quality children’s clothes and equipment
  • By giving food (non-perishable), especially cans or dry food such as pasta
  • By donating brand new toys (not soft toys or toy weapons) or vouchers from the Early Learning Centre, Boots, Marks and Spencer or Sainsbury’s
  • At Christmas, donating food treats, Christmas crackers and decorations to make it a really special time for the families
  • By becoming a volunteer at Welcare (you will need a CRB check)

If you wish to donate any items or have any questions about the work of Welcare, visit www.welcare.org or phone their Redhill office on 01737 780884.