Families needing practical support

Coping with multiple births, several children under five, or even bringing up a family in high rise accommodation, can lead to a parent needing an extra pair of hands. Our volunteers provide just that. From the mum who struggles to get a pushchair and a toddler down three flights of stairs to the family of triplets who needs a volunteer to help with the physical difficulties of getting a whole family to the park or local shops, Home-Start provides tailor-made help to give children the best possible start in life.

It was the best thing I could have done.

My name is Kris Armstrong and I am a mother of five children aged 5 and under. Caleb is 5, Rachel 3, Nathan 3, Sarah 17 months and Lois 17 months. Yes, there are two sets of twins! Having one set of twins is stressful enough but two is extra stressful especially with them being close in age. Having said that, in some ways the recent set is easier than the first set, as I know what I’m up against. Carrying two children at a time is just normal to me!

As you can guess I am a stay at home mum, so I’m called on 24 hours a day. It’s tiring and hard, especially when I can be up quite a few times during the night. I also lack family support as my husband’s family lives over an hour away and my family lives in America. This makes my job all the harder.

I heard about Home-Start after the second set of twins were born. A social worker from our church gave us a form for self-referral.

It was the best thing I could have done.

Deborah at my local Home-Start tries really hard to place the right volunteer with the right family. This is what makes this organisation so unique. As a mother you need someone else just to talk with, bounce ideas off and just befriend. Home-Start does this.

My current volunteer Dolores is wonderful and the kids adore her. I look forward to her coming every Monday as much as they do. She comes in and gets stuck right in to whatever she sees needs doing. She has come to the doctor’s surgery with me, entertained the kids while I get some things done, makes lunch and helps me make the tea for that night, plus many other things. She’s the perfect volunteer for my situation. The kids also do things for her that they wouldn’t do for me like wear big girl/boys pants and sit on the potty! I had been trying this for months and they just responded to her approach!

I would recommend Home-Start to anyone. It is the most reliable volunteer organisation I have ever had contact with.

Please support Home-Start so that we can continue to support more families like Pauline’s. Perhaps you can help by volunteering or by fund raising?

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