The support given can vary, one volunteer described how she accompanied a mother with a sick child to visit a paediatrician. The mother was very nervous about the visit but found confidence with the volunteer’s support. Another spoke about helping a young family living in cramped accommodation and encouraging them to get out and about.
Several volunteers mentioned that often the parent, because of their situation, feels very isolated, so when they visit the parent really welcomes the opportunity to talk to someone who is independent and non-judgemental.
It was a fascinating morning listening to the volunteers, all of different ages and life experiences, who talked so passionately and enthusiastically about their work. Equally impressive was that all of them were undertaking other voluntary work as well! What amazing people.
Families can refer themselves to Home Start, or be referred by doctors, nurses, social workers, or friends. Having an independent friendly person to help parents is so useful, and this can often prevent small scale problems escalating into much bigger ones.
The County Council is committed to supporting and helping families who are going through difficult times. The support from organisations such as Home Start is vital in helping these families to support themselves in the future.