Monday, 15 April 2024
Monday, 15 April 2024

Charity welcomes bestselling children’s author Sarah Lean as patron

DORSET families charity Home-Start Wessex is delighted to welcome bestselling children’s author Sarah Lean as their new patron.

Sarah first became involved with the charity in 2021 when she was asked to help judge the charity’s writing competition. The competition encouraged local families, both children and adults, to share their stories and use storytelling and reading as a way of bringing families together.

Sarah said:

“I was very happy to be invited to be part of the writing competition and amazed by the standard of entries. Both the children and adults alike shared moving and entertaining stories and poems about family life.”

During the judging process, Sarah became more aware of the vital work that Home-Start Wessex does in the local area and just how life-changing their volunteer services can be.

Sarah added:

“I have had the privilege to meet and talk with some of the team at Home-Start Wessex, where the atmosphere surrounding everyone is positive, safe, warm and welcoming. The space for growth that they all provide is extraordinary and palpable. I am in awe of the work they do for families and am absolutely delighted to be asked to be a patron. It will be my privilege to contribute in any way I can.”

Charity welcomes bestselling children's author Sarah Lean as patron

Caroline Pope, Community & Corporate Engagement Manager, commented:

“Sarah really went above and beyond in her role as judge of the writing competition. She was incredibly generous with her time, and I could see what a huge asset she could be to the charity. I am thrilled that she has agreed to become a Patron.”

Based near Wimborne, Sarah will be an active supporter of Home-Start Wessex, helping to raise awareness of the charity. Her first book, A Dog Called Homeless, was published in 2012 and has been published in many other countries around the world, as well as winning the Hazelgrove Book Award and the prestigious Schneider Family Middle School Book Award in the US. She continues to write children’s books, with her latest story, The Good Bear, being described by The Week Junior as ‘Beautifully written with lovely illustrations, this heart-warming animal story is a real delight – perfect for cosy winter reading’.

Home-Start Wessex has recently rebranded to better represent the growing numbers of families they support. Previously known as Home-Start South East Dorset, the new name reflects the wide area they serve, which runs right across Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, the Purbecks, up to Blandford and Cranborne and across into the Wiltshire and Hampshire borders.

Since 1995 they have helped over 3,500 local families and supported over 10,000 children through a network of over 600 amazing volunteers, offering friendship, practical support and emotional advice to families who are facing difficulties including poor mental health, postnatal depression, disability, domestic abuse, bereavement, isolation and multiple births.

Yet their service is in more demand than ever, and the charity is searching for more volunteers. If you can commit to 2-3 hours each week to help transform the lives of young children and their parents in our community, please get in touch with No special qualifications are necessary, and full training will be provided.

For more information, please visit:


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