Volunteers’ Week 2021 is a time to recognise and say thanks to our amazing network of Home-Start volunteers who have played a key role in the pandemic response. Click here to see how our volunteers have been supporting vulnerable families through the pandemic.
Volunteers are the heart of Home-Start and their commitment and dedication enables that heart to keep beating.
A heartfelt thank you to all Home-Start volunteers from Home-Start UK Chief Exec Peter Grigg.
It’s been over a year since we had to make significant changes to the way we support families, and our volunteers have been so incredibly supportive, understanding and have adapted so well to the new challenges that we face. During an exceptionally difficult year, our volunteers have been lifelines to so many families, continuing to offer a listening ear and providing non-judgemental emotional support to vulnerable families.
With more time on her hands, Jaqi decided that she wanted to give something back to the local community. Keen to utilise her own parenting experience and help other families, Jaqi applied to become a Home-Start Wandsworth volunteer.
After completing the training, Jaqi was soon matched with Bea*. Bea was struggling with her mental health and was incredibly isolated at home with her three children. At first, Jaqi would speak to Bea over the telephone on a weekly basis. It was initially quite challenging to build a rapport this way, so once government restrictions allowed, they soon started to meet face-to-face in the park for socially distanced walks.
Whenever Bea feels distressed, she often turns to Jaqi, knowing that she will be met without judgment and a listening ear. Bea really values their friendship and after a lifetime of not having any friends, it’s wonderful to see her confide and trust in Jaqi.
Over the last few months Bea and Jaqi’s relationship has flourished. Just seeing a friendly face, having a chat and knowing that she wasn’t alone has helped combat the stress and loneliness Bea was facing through lockdown. With Jaqi’s encouragement and unwavering support, Bea has started to develop coping strategies for dealing with her anxiety. With renewed confidence, Bea has started to connect with other local parents through Home-Start’s buggy walks, something she would not have done a few months ago.
Jaqi has been a lifeline to Bea and her tailored, responsive support instrumental in helping Bea adjust as the world begins to open up again.
*Name changed to protect identity
If you would like to find out more about volunteering opportunities at Home-Start Wandsworth click here.