From our families

Jane’s Story

"Just having our volunteer come and visit us changed my perspective of family. "

I don’t think my volunteer realises that she actually saved my life. I was feeling suicidal and I was looking at being admitted as an inpatient at a hospital. But just having her come and visit us changed my perspective of family, by providing me with a little support and treating me like I was normal.

Christy’s Story

"I can’t describe how comforting it is to share the heavy load of child raising with someone who feels like family."

I’m an only child with no extended family and no in-laws. My mother died a few weeks after my first child was born. As the months passed, I realised I didn’t have an older female in my life to guide me with parenting, to tell me if my baby was normal, if I was doing a good job, or even what I should be doing with him at home each day. I read internet articles and books and tried to follow every single item of advice perfectly, in case I let my baby down. I started to believe I was doing a poor job and that my baby’s future was ruined and there was no chance of redemption. I self-harmed and thought about suicide. Every day, I apologised to my baby because I was such a poor mother.
Thankfully, my Home-Start volunteer came into my life. She is the wise older woman in my life who has experience with children, listens to my endless concerns, and reassures me that my children are okay. I can’t describe how comforting it is to share the heavy load of child raising with someone who feels like family, even if it’s only for two hours a week. I have no other family members or older females to share time like this with. Sometimes we just play with the kids, other times she helps me get to appointments. I have no one else to help me while my husband is at work, so my Home-Start volunteer is a God-send and I am incredibly grateful.

Eve’s Story

"I was in a difficult relationship and feeling incredibly isolated."

I was six months pregnant with my fourth baby in five years. I was in a difficult relationship and feeling incredibly isolated. I read an article in the local newspaper about a service that supports families with children 0-5 years, and I decided to call the number. Soon I was paired with a Home-Start volunteer called Colleen. Colleen quickly became a part of my family, so much so that my children affectionately called her Nanny C. We shared many things and her input in my life, and my children’s lives is something we will cherish forever.

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From our volunteers

Pat’s Story

"In helping others, my soul is being restored."

Before I started working as a Home-Start volunteer, I thought I’d be helping out a family in need, but I think I’ve received more benefit than I could possibly give.

I look forward each week to visiting my Home-Start family and hearing about their development and achievements during the past week.
It is my pleasure to volunteer each week. I really admire the parents that I’m paired with. They are amazing, so organised and they really appreciate my help.

Volunteering with Home-Start has helped me cope with the death of my son by providing a focus separate from my own situation. It’s very rewarding to feel valued and that my assistance is appreciated.

The training was confronting at times, dealing with personal issues such as domestic violence, but at the same time it brought healing to me after many years of suppressing my hurt and the impact it had on my own children. In helping others, my soul is being restored.
Visiting my Home-Start family is the highlight of my week. The children are so delightful. Their energy, enthusiasm and sheer joy lights up my life. I go home physically drained some weeks but emotionally uplifted.

Susan’s Story

"It's made me more outgoing and content."

Being a Home-Start volunteer has made me appreciate how very fortunate I am, and it’s made me more outgoing and content.

Carrie’s Story

"Knowing that you are making a difference in a family's life is priceless."

Volunteering with Home-Start has been the most rewarding experience. Knowing that you are making a difference in a family’s life is priceless. To witness first-hand the changes that happen from the first visit to your next and months beyond is phenomenal. Strangers become like family. Watching the children grow and blossom has been the absolute highlight of this amazing journey.

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