Once I had been matched with the right volunteer I can truly say I don’t know how I managed without her! Our volunteer is kind and empathetic: even though we share many interests and opinions, if we didn’t I don’t think I would feel judged by either her or Home-Start.
Home-start have been there for us during regular parenting woes, but also then when unexpected, very difficult life events occurred. We have been supported with day to day tasks and more daunting prospects such as hospital appointments and getting the support of a health visitor as we didn’t even have one.
We have also been given the opportunity to have fun with our children, I now attend their family group and we have been on outings and trips with our volunteer and the scheme and we have regularly been swimming with our family (something I couldn’t do with my children without help due to ratio’s)
I often tell people I know with children under 5 to self refer to Home-Start and not wait for a professional to do it, as I believe they do make a difference to both children and their parents in this currently very insular, fragmented society. With the right volunteer, prospects and outcomes for families can be improved beyond expectations.