One of the many replies and offers of help and support we got to our emergency post the other day came from the very lovely Wendy. Wendy agreed to offer us some more information on the charity she is involved with, Home-Start. Let me pass you over to Wendy…
…Home-Start is a charity funded organisation that helps families in need of support , through home-visiting parent volunteers. Home-Start offers support, friendship and practical help to families with children under five. This can be as a non-judgemental pair of ears, someone to attend appointments or toddler groups with or to give a couple of hour’s respite. Each family is carefully matched to their own volunteer who visits for as long as the family needs support for. Referrals can be by phone by parents themselves or by professionals providing parent agrees.
I have been a Home-Start volunteer for just over a year, I support 2 very different families with very different reasons for using Home-Start, and the support I give is tailored to each family so that I do whatever the family needs that day. Some days will find me rolling on the floor with very energetic toddlers as their parent/s get some much-needed sleep; other days I’m lending an ear and helping find solutions to a problem that has risen, some days even see us on a trip to Tesco to do the weekly shop and be an extra pair of hands…..Every week is very different as much as the families I help support. As every parent knows, parenting comes with no instructions just lots and LOTS of rules, it’s no wonder we sometimes need a helping hand.
Wendy’s last comment about families sometimes needing “a helping hand” stuck a chord with OnlyDads so I picked up the phone to speak to Home-Start HQ.
I spoke to Joanne who told me…”Home-Start is the UK’s leading family support charity. We recruit and train volunteers to support parents, in their own homes, with at least one child under the age of five. Our home visiting work is unique in the UK. The charity was set up in 1973 and now has 327 Home-Starts supporting nearly 36,000 families and almost 77,000 children each year. Almost 17,000 volunteers visit families in their own homes – parents supporting other parents in a variety of situations including isolation, bereavement, multiple births, illness or disability”.
I have to say that this is impressive! Please do take a note of their contact details below, if you feel you need their support or are in a position to help with some volunteering.