Many parents struggle with poor self-confidence and low self- esteem. They worry whether they are doing the best for their children. Home-Start volunteers offer reassurance to parents that they are doing a ‘good job’; by listening, offering confidential and non-judgmental support and being someone to lean on.
Pauline’s life came close to collapsing when her husband was killed by a drink driver. She had to look after three young children while trying to combat her feelings of depression, shock and disbelief. Then along came Home-Start visitor Joy.
We had a lot in common. The main thing being that she was a widow and knew exactly what I was going through – the feelings I was experiencing, the sometimes mad thoughts that I was having. She reassured me that it was all part of what we were going through.
The trust developed quite quickly between us, with Joy supporting me in numerous ways: helping with the children; being an extra pair of hands when the children were off school; practical things that I had taken for granted before but that became massive mountains to climb when you’re suddenly left on your own.
Slowly the mountains became smaller, the unsolvable problems became solvable again. Looking back over the last few years, I knew I could have never made it through without Joy’s help.
Home-Start is a much-needed service to a lot of people with varied problems. Sometimes it is difficult to ask for help – or even recognise that you need it – but everyone could use a shoulder to lean on when times are tough.