The Masked Singer team-up with West Sussex family support charity to help struggling parents

Crawley-based charity Home-Start in partnership with ITV’s The Masked Singer are campaigning for struggling parents to speak out about their experiences.

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 2:36 pm

The local charity is partnering with The Masked Singer to launch it's Behind The Mask social media campaign.

Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex parents will be encouraged to talk about the reality of raising children, particularly during the pandemic when The Masked Singer airs on ITV for its third series.

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Two children enjoying the play services put on by Home-Start

Home-Start stands alongside families to offer compassionate, non-judgemental support on a wide range of issues including postnatal depression, bereavement, coping with twins, loneliness, coping with a child or parent with disabilities and a range of support with personal finances.

Home-Start works with a network of more than 10,000 trained volunteers at more than 180 Home-Starts centres across the UK.

Last year, the charity supported around 57,000 children in 26,000 families.

Business and Fundraising Manager Alyson Smith said: “We are absolutely delighted to be chosen as one of three charity partners with ITV’s The Masked Singer.

Home-Start run a variety of services including their Twiglets class

“With the support of Bandicoot and ITV, Home-Start wants to begin a massive online conversation to encourage families who are struggling, for whatever reason, to come out from behind the mask and ask for help if they are going through tough times.

“Research shows parents still feel a huge stigma around asking for help, with nearly half of all UK parents admitting they always or often feel ashamed of asking for support, especially when there are mental health concerns.

“Our new campaign encourages parents and caregivers to share some of the day to day funny, memorable and challenging things which happen to all of us as part of being a parent by using the hashtag #BehindTheMask.

“Parenting is a tough enough job as it is, but with the added anxiety and stresses of Covid lockdowns, financial pressures, health-related concerns and for some, bereavements, it has been a really difficult couple of years for families.

Home-Start help both parents and children

“We hope The Masked Singer provides some much needed light relief but also starts an all-important conversation about seeking help and where to go for help if it is needed. The need is growing as more families than ever before are finding they need support.”

During The Masked Singer show Home-Starts centres across the UK will encourage families to open up about the reality of parenting.

They also want to encourage others to check in with a family member, neighbour, work colleague or friend, to see how they are doing and if they need help.

Bandicoot MD Derek McLean and Creative Director Daniel Nettleton said: “We are delighted to partner with ITV to offer a platform for Home-Start to reach our loyal army of fans.

“We’ve got the licence to be even more bonkers than ever before with a new series packed with surprising names and musical mayhem.”

If you want to get involved, you can share your parenting experiences using the hashtag #BehindTheMask or by visiting Home-Start’s website at https://www.home-start.org.uk/