HELPING VULNERABLE FAMILIES TO A BRIGHTER FUTURE
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The Family Haven was established in 1988 to help disadvantaged and vulnerable families in Gloucestershire to a brighter future.
We help parents and their pre-school children by providing a warm, caring and supportive day centre where assistance and encouragement is available to help them to improve the quality of their lives.
This year, 2013, we celebrate twenty-five years of the Family Haven. The Family Haven does what it says on the tin – it’s a haven for families in Gloucester with small children who are facing difficult times.
Forty or fifty children come through the doors each week which means that thousands of families who have found themselves in poor or temporary accommodation, or have had traumatic family experiences, serious illnesses or other desperate circumstances and are coping with small children with such problems have benefitted from finding a safe place, a good nursery with caring staff, practical help, wise advice and, above all, good support in the middle of the city. Some of the children who first came through the doors in the early years will now have children of their own and hopefully some of the skills their own parents learned will now be being passed on.
One of those skills will have been preparing meals for the family. All parents know how important (and sometimes chaotic!) meal-times can be in a family with small children. (My own recipe for a quiet lunch with a two-year-old is simple – Open tin of baked beans. Heat beans in small saucepan. Serve beans. Pick up beans off floor, ceiling and child’s face.) But lunchtime has become a very important time at the Family Haven and so a cookbook, available to buy online, is a great way of celebrating twenty-five years of existence and six thousand, two hundred and fifty lunchtimes!
The Family Haven thrives through the hard work and dedication of a great number of very different people. Generous donors, experienced and skilled office staff, good cooks, caring nursery staff, dedicated volunteers and fund-raisers, parents and children, trustees and treasurers, so it is good that all sorts of different people have contributed recipes to our cookbook. Many thanks to all of them. I very much hope you will enjoy trying these meals and that you will carry on supporting the Family Haven for another twenty-five years.
Nick Bury – Chairman of the Trustees