Helping Hands Open Arms are a community interest company who exists to help anyone struggling to cope.
We take referrals from NFDC, Social Services, Health Visitors and you can also self refer using the following link.
Please dont keep struggling. The bravest thing is asking for help.
Please have a read through our story and if you feel you can help either with a donation or with volunteering then please click on the two linksand complete the forms at the bottom of the page. We would love you to join the team.
I'd like to add a bit of back ground to our group, explain how we began and fully what we are about.
In August 2019 I moved to Totton whilst repairs are under taken at my old property in Lymington. I was heavily pregnant and had my other two children and had to get used to a new area and in November 2019 my little boy was born. Due to complications during the pregnancy and birth, I fell extremely poorly and almost lost my life. At this time other than my mum and friends, many of which are team members now on this page, I had no other support.
It got close to Christmas and I was in a bad way in and out of hospital non stop, my baby with me and my 2 older children with my mum or friends, I fell into financial hardship and my Mum had run out of money too with travelling, parking costs at hospital and I had to reach out for help, at this time I found very few services were able to aid until I came upon a woman called Clare Monckton, who runs baby bundles bank, she came and visited me in hospital, she helped me get back on my feet and her and her members saved me in ways you couldn't imagine especially one member who helped me so much and when asked if she would like anything in return she asked me to pay it forward......... I will add that this was one of the hardest times in my life and what they did for me I'll never forget, so I sat and thought...... "how can I return this kindness and pay it forward ?" I realised why pages like Clare's exist, and that is due to gaps in the services and people unable to ask for help.
I decided that after looking into it and from my own experience, that the new forest suffers majorly from lack of resources.
So one night I created Helping Hands and bought Ashley Slater on board and then we recruited more of our friends and others interested in helping the community, we started with food, clothes, household items and crisis items for low income families or those in need, then Covid - 19 happened...
With the joining of Sara Lewis we found more recruits who are shown on our team pics and we faced the panic buying, helped supply baby formula and medicine and we aided the vulnerable and smashed through the essential items shortage as the Covid - 19 groups began to form, we have fought non stop all hours days and nights and all work tirelessly raising food donations, working beside agencies and charities especially now so many are shut down.
We take cases from professionals who have used our service through the government resources links and radio presenters from BBC Solent, we have done all of this through donations and self funding and on a team that only recently numbered 36 and we do this in many areas, each of us has our own reasons, our own stories and our own battles but we're here and we want to fight on were happy to tell you more about ourselves and we want to continue helping those that need it and to do without judgement or any want or need for glory, we do it because we have been there! Please support us so we can support those around you ! ❤
Helping Hands, Open Arms is a Community Page that has been running Since January 2020, prior to the current Covid-19 crisis that we are all facing.
We pride ourselves on helping people in crisis and that level of support now extends to the vulnerable, those in isolation and those currently suffering with the virus. We are providing a number of support services be it dropping off shopping, helping get prescriptions and working to deliver food parcels.
A big part of what we are now doing through this very unprecedented time is to deliver meals to those in isolation, at risk and / or vulnerable. We rely heavily on food donations to be able to produce these meals prepared by team members of Helping Hands.
We welcome any financial donations through our Fund Me Page however small and thank you immensely for your support. Our Community also thanks you!
To provide practical and crisis support in a different way to families and individuals in need in the New Forest and surrounding areas.
Every baby needs nappies, wipes, formula and food. We find Calpol is useful to have in supply as well.
These are considered essentials, but they are sometimes outside of the budget of a family in poverty or in crisis.
Emergency Food Parcels
Emergency food parcels can be issued to someone in crisis seven days a week if needed.
If possible, we will refer to a local food bank, most of which we have partnerships with.
We cook and freeze nutritious meals for both adults and children. Taking into account people's preferences and any allergies.
Cooked meals are really good for those that cannot prepare a meal due to illness and can't afford to buy ready meals or takeaways.
Baby and kids clothes
Babies, toddlers and children grow fast and with each growth spurt, new clothes are needed.
For families on low income this can be a nightmare. Through our service and Facebook page, clients can pick up new size bundles for free.
Young kids need stimulation to further learning. Some families can't afford age suitable toys for every stage of growth.
Some domestic violence victims have left their home in a rush with nothing.
The members of our community donate used but good condition baby equipment like car seats, prams, rockers and stair gates to be gifted to families in need.
A lot of these items are considered essential by social services.
All donations of food, baby items, clothing and furniture is quarantined after arrival and stored ready to be gifted to a household in need.
We are extremely grateful to the NFDC for the use of their garages.
Sometimes a family need some furniture or white goods.
We have lifted families out of food crisis by helping them locate and receive free food storage items so that they can shop more economically.