Struggling family 'overwhelmed' by gift which saves Christmas dinner

home start

Kelly-Ann Richards pictured with two of her triplets Aliesha and Abigail, has been given a new oven by Home Start Suffolk as part of their campaign to help families in need at Christmas. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

A mum with three young toddlers said she's "overwhelmed" having been given a new oven just weeks before Christmas day.

Kelly Ann-Richards, 43, is a single mum to triplets Isaac, Aliesha and Abigail, who lives in Carlton Colville in Lowestoft.

The family has been given a new oven by Home-Start Suffolk as part of its campaign to help families in need at Christmas.

home start suffolk

Kelly-Ann Richards pictured with two of her triplets Aliesha and Abigail, has been given a new oven by Home-Start Suffolk as part of their campaign to help families in need at Christmas. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

And Home-Start Suffolk in partnership with John Lewis in Ipswich surprised the family with the oven on Wednesday, December 8.

It has been a difficult time for the family, having moved up from Essex last year to Carlton Colville without knowing anyone in the area.

One of Miss Ann-Richards' daughters, Abigail, suffers from health complications including congenital heart disease, chronic lung disease, liver disease, impaired vision and moderate hearing loss.

On top of this, the family had an old oven which was unsafe to use with the triplets around.

triplets

Triplets (L-R) Abigail, Issaac and Aliesha Richards. - Credit: Kelly Ann-Richards

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Miss Ann-Richards said: "We were overwhelmed.

"It was such a nice and unexpected surprise.

"It is fantastic to know that organisations like Home-Start really care and I can't fault the help they have given us.

"Being isolated with three triplets over the first lockdown was very hard and it is difficult for Abigail as well with her illnesses."

home-start

Kelly-Ann Richards pictured with two of her triplets Aliesha and Abigail, has been given a new oven by Home-Start Suffolk as part of their campaign to help families in need at Christmas. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

The previous oven that the family had was unreliable, with no handle, a faulty hob and oven door which let hot air out.

The new oven has been a godsend for the family, especially in the run up to Christmas.

"We have finally been able to cook a proper meal again," Miss Ann-Richards said.

"Something that would usually take half an hour used to take two hours to cook so it really has saved me so much time."

The mum added: "Even though we felt isolated when we first joined the community the village of Carlton Colville has just been so welcoming.

"Our neighbours always come around and check in on how we are doing and there is a real community feel.

"We really went through hell and back having to relocate and leave everything we knew behind."

Home-Start Suffolk have helped five other families across Suffolk in the run up to Christmas.

Home Start in Suffolk support around 700 families each year as they navigate through challenges such as mental health, illness, disability, domestic abuse, isolation, and poverty.

Their network of more than 270 volunteers provide vital support through 1-1 home visiting, telephone, and virtual call and through dedicated groups.

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