Home-Start UK has carried out research which reveals that 6 out of 10 parents feel pressure from social media to be ‘perfect’, leading to feelings of inadequacy and even failure.

The charity says that in reality, parenting can be lonely and overwhelming, particularly for anyone also dealing with issues like post-natal depression, isolation or a relationship breakdown.

Cirencester-based Home-Start Cotswolds train volunteers who then visit families once a week and provide non-judgmental, confidential support.

Since starting up in 2006, they have trained almost 200 volunteers who are all parents themselves, so understand how difficult it can be.

Sarah struggled to cope after leaving an emotionally abusive relationship.

Her health visitor suggested that she contact Home-Start and they introduced her to Ann, who visited her for two to three hours once a week.

"Ann was kind, sympathetic and understanding," said Sarah.

"I felt I could be completely honest about everything and tell her how I had reached the place I was in. But best of all was not having to pretend that I was coping."

Home-Start’s next volunteer preparation course begins in Cirencester in January.

Anyone who is interested can come to one of their 11am coffee mornings, taking place on November 6 at Cirencester Baptist Church, or November 11 at the George Moore Centre in Bourton-on-the-Water. Alternatively, they can get in touch by calling 01285 885391 or emailing office@home-start-cotswolds.org.uk.