A charity which offers a helping hand to families with at least one child under the age of five is facing financial trouble.

Cross Hills-based Home-Start Craven is making a plea for help so it can continue its work involved in recruiting and training volunteers with parental experience to make home visits.

The organisation is feeling the pinch as public sector budget restrictions bite, both nationally and locally, and there are fewer funding sources.

Home-Start Craven chairman Stephen Adair said: “We are desperately reaching out to both corporate and individual donors to help us survive this difficult period.

“Over the past two years, we’ve recruited and trained a fabulous and dedicated team of staff and volunteers who have already helped many families overcome significant challenges. It would be an absolute tragedy if we were forced to stop, denying local families the support they so badly need.”

There were nearly 2,500 children under the age of five in the area which meant there were many families who could benefit from the service.

The need for help could arise in many different ways, including post-natal illness, disability, poverty, bereavement, multiple births, family breakdown and family isolation.

One such family includes a mum with three-and-a-half- year-old twins. She said: “Home-Start has been a fantastic help to me. I have a wonderful volunteer who has become a true friend to both myself and my children.

“We have had outings and walks which, without her, would have been difficult, if not impossible. If anyone is needing that extra pair of hands, then I would certainly recommend that they contact Home-Start for help.”

Mr Adair said: “Please help us to continue to help them. If your business supports local charitable organisations, please get in touch.

If you’d like to make an individual donation, please send it to Home-Start Craven, CVS Community Office, The Bungalow, Holme Lane, Crosshills, Keighley, BD20 7RL. We really need your support.”