FRIENDS of a Southampton childcare group are calling on the help of the community to survive.

Sure Start has fallen victim to the council funding cuts and is at risk of closing some of the groups they provide to parents across the city.

The Southampton groups are run by volunteers and now rely on donations from parents and fundraising events to keep providing a quality service.

So the Friends of Sure Start (FOSS) for Southampton West are rallying for support to continue helping families across the city.

The groups are part of a Government programme to give children the best start in life and are open to parents, children and carers and last year the Sure Start groups helped more than 12,000 families across the city.

Services include early education, childcare, family support agencies, playgroups and classes for mums looking to gain qualifications to make them more employable or learn how to breast feed and deal with post-natal depression – all of these services are under threat of closure.

Holly Wilson, 22, from FOSS said: “There are more cuts coming and there won’t be all this help for parents, the Sure Start groups really benefit people.

“I had my son when I was 18 and they were so supportive, young mums don’t always know where to turn and it would be such a shame if Sure Start wasn’t there for them, we are all frustrated.

“People just seem to think it will keep going no matter what, we need to realise that unless we do something now Sure Start won’t last.”

At the moment FOSS volunteers are applying for grants and fundraising to provide food and drink at playgroups as well as save the classes.

They will be at the MP3 building in Millbrook on Sunday, August 17 from 1pm to 3pm for an afternoon packed with fun activities and food to raise money.