Jane abseiling for Home-Start North Somerset
How long have you been volunteering for Home-Start?
I have been volunteering for Home-Start North Somerset for over two years after 10 sessions of training.
Why did you decide to volunteer for Home-Start?
Having been a teacher for many years and recently having retired and become a grandparent, I wanted to work as a volunteer where my skills could be put to good. Keeping up to date with the latest baby/child care techniques and ideas with my two grandchildren was a great help. It’s changed a lot since I was a young mum although good old common sense still holds true.
I was also aware that the facilities for new mums, especially those on their own or with more than one youngster can be daunting. Early support and intervention when needed is vital and
can reduce greater needs in the future.
How many families have you supported and what support have you given?
I have worked with three families. The first was for only a short time whilst the mum regained her confidence. I have kept in touch with her and things are going really well.
The second was for nearly two years and I have now signed off and agreed to meet up occasionally. Much reassurance was required and a lot of listening as well as signposting. Having watched her daughter from a few months to two years old and see mum gain confidence has been rewarding.
My current family offers different challenges and I am learning more and more about benefits and accessing additional help.
What advice would you offer to someone thinking about becoming a Home-Start volunteer?
Be prepared for tears and laughter. Have a tool box of toys, light bulbs, a full Phone battery and a plane!! I had to plane a door so the family could get out after the door had swollen in the rain! Small changes can take a long time for the family and are wonderful to watch when they happen.
Do it and know that a family, or more, will be able to grow all the more confidently as you have helped facilitated that change. There may be times that a volunteer may have to step back as the professional services are required.
Would you like to become a volunteer and help families in North Somerset? Why not call us for a chat? 01934 419396