I have been with Home-Start Wrexham for sixteen years. I started having support after I had my twins who are now 21, and I tell them they might not have got to that age if I hadn’t had a Home-Start volunteer! I had spilt up with their father when they were two years old and even though my Mum and Dad lived nearby they couldn’t be there 24 hours a day.
I remember seeing a poster in the hospital and thought I would call to see if they could help me. I was told I could refer myself so I filled in a form, and then an Organiser came to tell me how it works and to see me and the kids. Once the form had been processed she would introduce me to my volunteer and within a week or two that’s what happened, a service at a time when I was stressed being on my own with twins.
My volunteer was a mother just like me, and had grown up kids and a husband. She was a good listener and helped me go shopping with the twins, to the doctor, took them out, or just sat and had a cuppa with me, and didn’t tell me what to do. I went back with their father to see if we could be a family but it didn’t work and my volunteer was a pillar for me through that, never being judgemental.
Anyway the years went by and the kids went to school all day and I no longer needed my volunteer, but we are still good friends today. I felt I needed to fill my days while the kids were at school, so I did the Volunteer Preparation Course and became a home-visiting volunteer; wanting to give back to Home-Start and to get me to a better place, and of more use to my community. I started visiting a family, and ten families later I still enjoy it and it is good to see families move on like I did.
After a couple of years with Home-Start and more complicated families, and a lot of experience, I was asked to go on the Management Board as a Trustee and I soon settled in. They still support me now, it has given me lots of good friends and I know if I need to talk my Organiser they are only at the end of a phone or in the office. I hope this will inspire people to volunteer for Home-Start and spare a couple of hours a week to make a families’ life a little easier and so they are not struggling alone.