As parents ourselves, we understand how difficult it can be to ask for help from outside when challenges overcome family life. Being a parent has never been easy. It can be lonely, frustrating, heartbreaking and overwhelming and when a life-changing event happens, it can turn your world upside-down. But it’s not all doom and gloom, Home-Start’s volunteers are ready to step in and give support to local families through their toughest times.
Home-Start plays a vital role in supporting parents to give their children the best possible start in life. Our positive impact makes a real difference in the lives of children and families within the community. Each of our volunteers is trained to help work alongside your family to overcome the challenges you are facing. We work with you to build on your strengths and give you the support that you tell us that you need.
And, the best thing is that the support we offer is free, confidential and non-judgemental. You don’t need to be referred either, you can simply give us a call and have a chat about the type of issues your family are currently facing. There is no obligation to sign up for Home-Start support either, but we will always lend a listening ear and offer support should you want it.
What types of things can Home-Start help with?
There is a range of challenges that families face, and our volunteers are trained to support you through them. Read on to find out what they are…
Disability and illness
Coping with a child who has a long-term illness, or a physical disability can be a life-changing experience. And parents who are dealing with their own or their partner’s medical condition can find life a real challenge.
Our volunteers may be able to support you if you have just received a diagnosis, are attending hospital appointments, or are looking for help with finding financial assistance for medical equipment or to adapt your home – you work out with us how we can help you best.
If you have moved away from friends and families, if you don’t know your local community, or if you have a partner who works long hours or is often away from home – any of this can lead to desperate loneliness and isolation. Nearly two-thirds of families who come to Home-Start for support say that isolation is their main reason for needing our help.
Our volunteers offer vital links to your community, helping you and your children access playgroups, parks, and specialist support of all kinds – to help you to build support networks so you and your children can flourish.
Mental ill-health and postnatal illness
A lot of the families we support are struggling with some form of mental ill-health. Many of them are lonely and isolated, which also affects their self-esteem. Your family may be trying to cope with the impact of mental ill-health or post-natal depression. You may be struggling to care for your young children while you are trying to get better.
Home-Start may be able to help, with the support of a volunteer who understands and can visit you at home or through family support groups. And if you are a father struggling to cope while your wife or partner goes through the dark days of postnatal illness, this support can be a big help.
Families struggle with finances for many reasons. Whether you are trying to cope with an unexpected job loss or redundancy, trying to find the pennies to keep the house warm enough for your sick child, or wondering where to find the cash for specialist mobility equipment – we may be able to help.
You may have been made redundant, be long-term unemployed, work hard at two or more jobs and still can’t make ends meet, or have debt problems. Home-Start volunteers can help parents budget and manage their money more effectively. They are also able to put you in touch with other local organisations who will be able to offer advice and support you with your money.
From helping attend meetings with Citizens Advice or the benefits office to working with families to find grants that help ease the financial burden of coping with disability or illness, Home-Start volunteers are making a difference to families like yours.
Twins, triplets and multiple children
Coping with multiple births, several children under five, or bringing up a lot of children in a small space? You’ll need more than an extra pair of hands. Our volunteers provide just that: for the mum who struggles to get a pushchair and her toddlers down three flights of stairs to the parents of triplets who need a volunteer to help get the whole family to the park or to do the food shopping, Home-Start provides tailor-made help to give your children the best possible start in life.
When a relationship ends
Mothers and fathers are acutely aware of the impact their relationship breakdown has on their children – and in most cases do everything they can to make their new family arrangements work, but it’s never easy.
You don’t need to struggle alone to give your children a good start in life – especially if you are trying to cope after a separation, divorce, or have left an abusive relationship. Our volunteers can lend a non-judgemental listening ear and be the support you need to help you move forward.
What do I need to do to get Home-Start support?
If you would like to have a chat with one of our co-ordinators about the type of issues your family are currently facing, why not give us a call today on 01763 262262 (or if you prefer you can fill in your details on our Contact Us page and someone will call you back).
Our co-ordinators really are the best listeners and have worked with many families, and can offer suggestions to the type of Home-Start support that would suit your family’s needs.
And remember, you are under no obligation to take that support, but it’s there should you want it. The support we offer is free, confidential and non-judgemental and can start as soon as you have that first conversation.
We are extremely grateful to Postcode Places Trust who awarded us funding enabling us to provide Home-Visiting support to 15 local families in need. Postcode Places Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
You can find out more about how Postcode Places Trust supports local communities by visiting www.postcodeplacestrust.org.uk or www.postcodelottery.co.uk