More than 60% of families who come to Home-Start for support say that isolation is their main reason for needing our support. Moving away from friends and family, not knowing their local community, and having partners who work long hours, often away from home, can all add to the feelings of separation and loneliness. Our volunteers offer vital links to the community, helping isolated families access playgroups, parks, and other facilities and support networks that help children and their parents flourish.
Modupe came to England from Nigeria in 2004. She left all of her family behind and says that she was the only ‘privileged’ one to come here. After arriving, Modupe was isolated and lonely, and felt that she had made a terrible mistake. She had no one to turn to for help or support.
“I was so lonely before Home-Start. I have no family here, but I am so happy now and that’s because of Home-Start.”
After the birth of her second daughter Modupe was badly affected by postnatal depression and was referred to Home-Start by her midwife. She was matched to her volunteer, Helen, also from Nigeria. Modupe says that one of the best things that they do is simply talk; something that she has missed since leaving Nigeria.
As well as emotional support, Helen gives Modupe practical assistance such as filling in housing application forms, accompanying her on hospital visits or taking her to appointments. Other times Modupe may need support with the children, to read books to them or take them out to the shops.
Modupe says that thanks to Home-Start she has really settled in to the British way of life and is now part of her community. “Home-Start”, says Modupe “has replaced my family”. She really looks forward to Helen’s weekly visit, only wishing she could stay longer.