When you are so low, you don’t even know you are broken. I had a serious operation and if I didn’t have my volunteer then it would have been my breaking point

- A parent

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Volunteering can be very rewarding!

Have a look below at what some of our volunteers have said about working with Home-Start West Dorset -

“It’s fantastic”

“I really enjoy it”

“You are nurtured for you as well as for the family”

“Home-Start has the right mix of professionalism and informality”

“Before the preparation course started I thought it was going to be repetitive and drag on but now I really look forward to going”

“I really enjoyed the training, it went very quickly – the course was very professionally put together”

“It’s the ethos of Home-Start that makes the difference – it’s not full of officialdom – I like it because it is relaxed and fits into the way people live their lives”

“When the Organiser visited she really boosted my self esteem – it built me up to see what I had to offer”

“The session about being non judgemental makes you think about how you come over to other people and it made me think about how people behaved to me when I was a young mum”

“It’s a privilege to go into the family’s home, based on friendship as the starting point. Families can be fearful of professional agencies”

“The prep course was fantastic, it made me question my own thoughts and feelings by sharing with a wide range of other people with different viewpoints and perspectives”

“On the match visit, mum was very open and everything spilled out. I was struck by mum’s openness – she was really brave. The family had complex, multiple needs”

“The youngest child loves books and I take bags to play with for make-believe”

“Mum will think “my volunteer is coming then, so I can do all these things”. It gives her a gap to keep on top of things for two or three hours a week”

“One of the most valuable things is to talk to other volunteers, share experiences – I feel I’m not the only one”
 

“I notice things that mum has done in the house and tell her “fantastic, that’s great”. If she starts to knock herself a bit, I reassure her that it’s how it goes. I say “Do you remember when I first came? Look how far it’s come on”. It’s easy for the family to forget”

“I check how mum is feeling then I can reassure her “Keep going with that, you’ll get there. It will happen. The girls are such a credit to you”

“It’s been a challenge at times but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve got a lot out of it personally – learned a lot”

“When I heard all about Home-Start, I thought “that’s the thing for me!”

“It’s about accepting, being non-judgemental, and embracing all. There’s a lot of trust involved, on both sides – you have to work on and build that trust”

“The prep course was run extremely well, the materials were excellent. It prepared me well – all the crucial things like safeguarding and confidentiality all helped to remind me how important those things are”

“Mum’s now going to the Children’s Centre’s young mums group and she said that her Home-Start volunteer was the most important support to her”

“I’ve built a good friendship with mum now. I take the boys to the park so mum has time for a bath or to make some calls. We also went swimming which was a great success”

“I’ve been humbled by learning that different people have different standards. We can laugh about issues now – I tell her “I’m putting my granny hat on now!”

“I’ve helped organise a fire safety check for the house and given her information about mediation”

“They’re excellent matches. Helen puts a lot of thought into that. The value of supervision is that it gives me opportunities to discuss any problems”

“It’s doing with, not for. We tackle chores that mum feels defeated by and do them together. I praise mum – often young mums don’t get praise or recognition for what they’re doing”