New board members of local family support charity, Home-Start Winchester, have been out and about at Alresford’s weekly market, the cathedral Christmas market and Tesco in Winnall. 

Tina Gericke, Robert Bolwell and Jane Skelton were elected to the board in the last six months and were quickly recruited to promote the organisation and sell some Christmas cards too.

All three have been working with children in their professional lives and all are parents, knowing the trials and tribulations of parenting. 

It is their backgrounds that have brought them to Home-Start, with the aim of supporting families with young children in the Winchester area.

Moving to Winchester when she retired, Jane worked in the charity sector for 25 years working with families and young children. She ran a community pre-school for seven years; spent 14 years with the Pre-School Learning Alliance (now Early Years Alliance) and the last ten as senior coordinator for Home-Start Banbury, Bicester and Chipping Norton. When she can find the time, she is a keen lacemaker.

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Robert is a solicitor of more than 40 years. Initially a family lawyer, he worked on child care issues and was a member of the Law Society's early child care panel. He is chair of Winchester’s Military Museums Partnership and lives in the Meon Valley where he is a member of his local parochial church council, and can sometimes be seen behind the counter in the village shop.

Tina has lived in Winchester for nearly 20 years and became a Home-Start volunteer six years ago. She found it very different from working in the statutory services. Tina has worked around the world, in education and with disabled children, and in the NHS as an occupational therapist.

“Applying to be a Home-Start trustee was a way to be part of the community and contribute to what is a very valuable and effective local charity,” said Tina.

Home-Start Winchester chairman Stephanie Durrant said: “We are delighted to have this wonderful team of new trustees, who bring a wealth of experience and expertise in the sector. There’s plenty of work for them to do as the demand for our services just keeps on growing, along with our need for funds to keep this wonderful charity going.”