Having been a Home-Visiting volunteer for some time, a couple of years ago I decided to concentrate my support at Family Support Group, due to personal family commitments.
Little did I know how Home-Start Royston and South Cambridgeshire would actually support me following a sudden and unexpected bereavement a few months later. Both staff and volunteers went beyond the call of duty to offer their help, physically and emotionally.
I had to withdraw from Family Support Group for a few weeks in order to come to terms with my new circumstances, but did not feel excluded in any way, and was very welcomed on an ‘ad hoc’ basis. With the co-ordinator’s agreement the families were informed of my situation and I was able to share my grief and emotions openly with the parents in a very honest way. I found this very beneficial – not having to put on a mask – and also felt it strengthened my relationship with many of the families.
Returning to regular Group sessions, attending planning meetings and training has been almost a lifeline, as I begin to come to terms with my ‘new normal’. It has enabled me to add structure to my week, get out of the house, fulfil others’ expectations, not dwell too much on my situation and share happy times. Most importantly, the love and friendship I have been offered has been a huge contribution to the start of my healing process.
Sincere thanks to the Home-Start family – staff, volunteers, parents (and children)
*Name has been been changed