Our Blog this week is written by one of our incredible members of staff who talks about the difference Home-Start makes to the families we support, as well as her favourite parts of her job. There is so much value in just being alongside someone as they walk part of their life journey. And we feel so lucky to have such caring, invested staff supporting our families. Happy reading!
A difference that lasts
I was recently given a letter from a parent who had Home-Start support back in the 1980s, and even now, she remembers the challenges of having three children under 18 months and feeling there was no way she was going to cope. This Mum decided to accept support after being recommended Home-Start by her Health Visitor and even all these years later remembers the amazing difference this made to her and her children in the difficult and wonderful early years of the children’s lives.
Being a parent can bring so many challenges – good times and more difficult times and to have some extra support can make a world of difference. Having someone giving their time to walk alongside, listen and not judge – being flexible to give the support parents want is so powerful.
How my role as a co-ordinator helps
I am a co-ordinator for Home-Start, and one of my favourite parts of this role is when I introduce a volunteer to a family – although both families and volunteers are nervous to meet each other (and probably wouldn’t agree that this is their favourite meeting)! I know that this is the start of support, things changing and that when I come back to ask how things are going, I get to talk with parents about what a difference having a volunteer alongside has meant for them, enabling them to get to a better place for themselves and their children.
I then have the privilege of talking with families at the end of their support and time with Home-Start, and we look back together, and they can see how far they have come – this visit is often full of joy about the positive times and sadness about saying goodbye to their volunteer. Parents regularly say it is time for another family to have a volunteer’s support, and they are giving them away to be amazing for someone else.
These last two years have been more difficult than ever due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and as I look back at the end of the year, what strikes me is the amazing lasting difference Home-Start makes to all sorts of families. I feel privileged to be part of such an incredible charity.
Families who have recently said goodbye to their volunteer have said: