Evaluating the impact of our work is a continuing priority. We ask parents and families who use our services for feedback – not just whether they have been helped, but how they think we can do better.

To view our latest Impact Report, please click here.


In 2017 we also commissioned an independent evaluation by the University of Winchester, led by Prof Geoff Meads and Kathleen Butler. The research set out to answer a simple question: What difference does Friends of the Family make? It drew on responses from parents across all three of our projects.

The findings were overwhelmingly positive.

Among the key results:

  • 77% of participants said they had become more confident about making parenting decisions and setting routines for their children
  • 77% felt more able to manage day to day challenges
  • 82 % felt confident to share their views with professionals
  • 77% said Friends of the Families had helped them to recognise their own skills and abilities

Crucially, the study found that most of the parents we helped had not been in contact with other social groups and may have been feeling isolated. Coming together with people who had similar experiences helped them to form support groups of their own.

And one final encouraging finding – 100% of parents in the study said they would recommend our services to other parents.

Quotes - Winchester charity
  • “My volunteer is a very good listener. We have fun together and I can talk to her about what’s on my mind.”

    Emma, 5s to 13s focus child
  • “The people who make up Friends of the Family became my family when I needed it most and I cannot thank them enough.”

    Kathy, Mums and young children
Friends of the Family

Laura’s story…

“Friends of the Family have given me emotional support throughout, provided counselling and helped me to access things I needed for the baby when I had no money. I have made good and lasting friendships there and my daughter loves the company of other children. Honestly, I would have been lost without this group.”

Laura, Mums and young children