Words from parents we have supported
“Having someone visit me regularly once a week to listen to me and hold my hand was amazing. Looking back to last October when I contacted Home-Start I was at rock bottom and couldn’t see any way out. Through the support of my volunteer, I was able to achieve the things highlighted. When my son is in full-time school, I would love to be a local volunteer.”
“I’ll start with my lovely volunteer. She has been a ray of sunshine in my life, and the support I get from her is invaluable. I cannot express enough how seeing her once a week has brought confidence to my life, and for my son too.”
“Thank you so much for arranging for my volunteer to me to help with my son. She is fabulous and a huge help. It has made such a difference to us. She is kindly doing two sessions a week and my son is definitely getting used to her and was generous enough to give her a cuddle yesterday! She has been a ray of sunshine in my life.”
“I really can’t tell you what a difference it makes. It means I can now get to playgroups and other things that I couldn’t do with two non-walking children. The volunteer helps with both children and helps me get them togged up and into the buggy. It is so nice having her help so that my son isn’t missing out on things. She is very supportive of him and very encouraging and understanding of his difficulties.”
Words from family support visitors and health workers
“Without Home Start’s vital emotional and practical support the family would have been at risk. They have allowed them to remain together and improved outcomes.”
“Mum used to stay at home and wouldn’t talk to anyone; it was boring and she felt stressed. It was good that the volunteer came in every week – she helped a lot. She attended the daughter’s speech and language therapy appointments every week, helped her on the bus, held her hand when walking along the road. The daughter loves her!”
“Home-Start is an outstanding example of the voluntary sector working together to meet government outcomes on supporting families through multi-agency working.”
Who we have helped
Home-Start Wandsworth has helped families in all sorts of situations. Here are just a few examples:
- A mother recently arrived from Pakistan, married with one baby, completely isolated with no friends and a family who were not joining her in the UK. She needed the volunteer to accompany her to community events so that she could make friends.
- A single mother was struggling to cope with her newly born twins as well as an older child. Our volunteer helped her manage the three young ones to get out of the house and sign post her to local activities as well as to help with feeding time and meal preparation.
- A father called us because his wife was suffering from a serious illness as well as looking after a baby, she was exhausted and needed to attend hospital appointments but he was working long hours and unable to offer help during the day. Our volunteer came in to help the mother while the father was working to help with the baby and to offer her company during long days of rest at home while she was ill.
- A family with a baby and a chronically disabled child; the mother was having difficulties dividing her time between her two children but did not know of organisations who could help her with respite care. Our local volunteer offered to help with the children as well as signpost her to partner charities who could offer specialised care for her child.
- A mother with two small children who was depressed after the breakup of her marriage and was rarely leaving the house was helped by our volunteer who spent time with the mother to boost her confidence to got her out and about again.
There are many different situations and no two are alike. Feel free to pick up the phone or email us if you would like some support.
Most stories are best told first hand; here is a story from one of the families we supported over five years ago during her separation, the birth of triplets and breast cancer diagnosis. Throughout such challenging years, Em has shared her story on her blog ‘Me and my four‘. It is a beautifully written account of hope and the difficulties of family life.