HOME-Start's vital work with families across Glasgow relies on face-to-face meetings and support groups.

So when the country shut down overnight, charity bosses had to move quickly to ensure the people it supports still have the help they need.

And in the South Side this has involved sending its services online - including antenatal classes and a dad's support group.

Ryan Warren, Home-Start Glasgow South's Dads Coordinator, said: "The lockdown came so suddenly that everybody everywhere had to change and adapt really quickly.

"We saw the scenes in Europe and knew something was coming and that we would have to think on our feet to keep our services going.

"Our first priority was to find out what our families needed and wanted then work from there.

"We are living in uncertain times, on a three weekly basis of not knowing what's going to happen so having the opportunity to talk that through with someone, and all the associated pressures, that was important to our families."

David, who asked that we use his first name only, has had the unique experience of having a brand new baby in lockdown.

His little girl was born 11 weeks ago but is yet to meet immediate family members and David's mum and sister aren't able to visit, which he says is very hard for them all.

He is a carer for his partner and was planning to be a stay at home dad so joined Home-Start's antenatal classes designed for fathers.

The classes, championed by Ryan and taking a number of years to set up, were the only ones of their kind in Glasgow but are now available in two city hospitals.

Glasgow Times:

Since December 2018 more than 180 dads have taken part.

Home-Start's antenatal classes have moved online with live sessions from Ryan and a midwife, GP, and a health visitor.

After his daughter was born, David wanted to continue receiving Home-Start support so joined the Dads And Weans group.

The 29-year-old said: "Literally the night before the first time I was going to go to the group, the country went into lockdown.

"I knew I wanted to keep the support from Ryan going and we were able to still have one-to-one sessions over the phone but I really wanted to have support from other dads as well.

"So it was great when the Dads And Weans sessions moved online.

"There's a chance to chat to the other dads and build relationships with them but Ryan is also brilliant with music sessions and storytelling and that sort of thing for the children.

"It's such a different situation that we're in than what we thought, being in lockdown with our new baby, so it's really important this support is there."

Ryan says all ages and backgrounds come to the Dads And Weans sessions, from young, first time fathers in their 20s to those in the 50s who hare on the second time around.

The sessions are usually based in Merry-Go-Round, in Strathbungo, but for now are being held over Zoom.

Scotland’s network of Home-Starts helps more than 3000 families, with more than 6500 children every year, supporting parents with young children and pregnant woman who are struggling, from isolation, poor mental health, insecure housing, trauma, abuse, loss and also those navigating a complex and challenging asylum process.

This work is usually done through face-to-face visits and local groups, run by trained staff and more than 1,500 volunteers across the country.

Groups have kept going with Facebook cookery classes, one-to-one and group support sessions online, virtual art competitions and weekly story telling sessions.

Home-Start Glasgow South has also provided families with resources in Activity Boxes that have been delivered to homes.

Family Support Workers have been delivering food parcels, nappies, baby milk and medication.

There are also weekly Facebook Live sessions to maintain contact and help alleviate the isolation of families and helping improve their mental health.