THE party poppers are at the ready and the balloons have been ordered as staff and volunteers put the finishing touches on Home-Start Warrington (HSW) 15th birthday plans.

The charity, which was launched to help vulnerable families in the town to tackle a range of issues, will celebrate 15 years of service at a celebratory event on Friday, August 15.

It will also mark the official opening of the charity’s new base at The Smile Centre on Sandy Lane in Orford.

To celebrate its 15 birthday, staff, volunteers and families have listed 15 reasons why HSW is the Warrington Guardian’s charity of the year and how it has played an invaluable role in helping families turn their lives around.

To find out more information visit or call 652320.

1. Since its launch, HSW has supported more than 800 families in Warrington.

2. Around 2,170 children in the town have benefited from the help of a HSW volunteer.

3. HSW aims to help parents give their children the best possible start in life.

4. Volunteers only need 40 hours of training over a 10 week period to change someone’s life for the better.

5. The charity provides three hours of support every week to each of its families in need.

6. All training for volunteers is free. The next course is to start on September 3 with places still available.

7. Volunteers have either been a parent or carer so can provide the best possible advice as they have already experienced parenthood.

8. Volunteering is a great way for parents, who have been out of work, to build up their confidence in preparation for rejoining the work place.

9. HSW offers support during times of crisis which is tailored to meet families’ needs.

10. Isolation, illness, drug abuse and domestic violence are just a few of the issues that HSW can help families to overcome.

11. HSW can help families to meet new friends and try new experiences.

12. It has been described as an ‘extended family’ by many of its service users, who cannot thank HSW enough for its help and support.

13. The dedicated team are there to offer a helping hand when families need it most or simply a friendly face to share a problem with.

14. In the past 15 years, 210 volunteers have been trained to help families in need in Warrington.

15. From marathons and bucket collections to jumble sales and bag packs, the support HSW has received from people in the town has enabled the charity to continue to make a real difference in the community.