As part of National Volunteer week we will be sharing the stories of some of our wonderful volunteers. Today Julie shares her story and what its like to volunteer at Home-Start.
I had decided to volunteer as my own children were older and had become more independent and had moved into student accommodation. I had also reduced my hours at work. I had noticed a sign in the Post office sorting office for Home-start and thought this was something I would be interested in as my job was working with children. I also knew how isolating it could be with a young family as I had moved to a new area without family close to me when my children were born.
I started my training course in September 2020 and got matched with my family in March 21. I have found this experience really interesting and at times challenging due to Covid restrictions.
Being a volunteer is a privilege and not something I will be taking lightly and I know that it will be a two way street as I will be learning and gaining lots from my Home-start family too. I hope they will see me as a friend and not just a volunteer. It was also very helpful to be able to work with the other volunteers on the course and to share our wide and varied life skills as we all came to the table with different experiences just as our Home-start families.
I feel very supported by my Home-start coordinator and I know they are there to help me in any way. The training course was also very in depth and covered all areas to ensure I was prepared for my volunteering role.
I think after Covid restrictions are lifted and we go back to some normality a lot of families will need help especially with their mental health. It would be helpful for volunteers to get some mental health training and also to meet other volunteers face to face as I have never had a chance to do that.