Almost ten years ago I was looking for something to do with my time when my youngest daughter started school. My husband worked away and I was lonely at home on my own. I went to a school health event and Home-Start had a stand there promoting their service. I spoke to the lady on the stand a little bit about my life’s journey and she took my details. She said someone would contact me to talk about volunteering opportunity that she thought would be good for me as well as good for others. Over the summer holidays Angela, a Home-Start Co-ordinator at that time, came to see me at home and explained further about what Home-Start do. I was so impressed by the support offered by Home-Start to families that I wanted to be part of that team. I wished I had known about Home-Start when my children were small and at home!
I completed the Preparation Course, celebrating my fortieth birthday with the other volunteers training, vowing to make a difference to other people’s lives and that turning forty was going to be a new positive chapter in my life. I volunteered providing support for many families through home visiting. Through Home-Start I was given many training opportunities and took these up as much as could. With this training I was offered a job, which I took, but continued to volunteer for Home-Start in my free time because without Home-Start and the training I wouldn’t have been offered the job I got.
Home-Start provided crèches for family’s accessing courses and I became part of the crèche worker team. I also ran the Dad’s Group for many years. When one of the Co-ordinators left Home-Start I decided to apply for the job and got it! I am now the senior co-ordinator, working alongside Angela, the manager of Home-Start Central Lancs, who originally interviewed me to become a volunteer almost 10 years ago.
I have seen many changes within Home-Start over these years but one thing that remains the same and stands out is the way Home-Start is family led, provides support to help build a families confidence and coping abilities, working alongside the family with their hopes and expectations built into the support given, to build a better future for themselves and their children.
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