STAFF at Home-Start in Bridgwater have spoken of their delight at the extra publicity afforded to the charity by the visit of the Countess of Wessex earlier this month.

The organisation, which supports struggling families with at least one child under five in Sedgemoor, says raising its profile is vital in tough financial times.

Scheme organiser Juls Harkness said: “The need for Home-Start is demonstrated by the number of referrals we have had over the 16 months we have been in operation.

“I could recruit more volunteers – we have a waiting list – but we have to find all our funding from private trust funds/businesses and well-wishers.

“We get no Government subsidy - we are the ‘Big Society’ at work. We desperately need ongoing support – office space, and the means to be able to continue to do our work which so many people say is a life-line.”

During her visit, the Countess met and spoke to families and children who are helped by the scheme as well as organisers.