01904 674764 support@homestartyork.org.uk49 Cemetery Road YORK YO10 5AJ

“My own mum always told us that the best way to approach life was to be as a pebble dropped in water to radiate positive waves all round. I like this image; it fits everyone I know at Home-Start York, from the trustees, the organisers and admin, to the volunteer mums. That’s why I joined; and why I stayed; and why I love it”

“Its knowing that even in a small way you can help families with some of the challenges they face in their early years and also having the opportunity of working with a keen and enthusiastic team, both staff and volunteers”

“Having enjoyed bringing up 2 children myself I feel it is so important to help mums who are finding things a bit difficult for whatever reason to enable them to give their children a good start in life and enjoy the precious years when the children are young. I had been thinking of doing voluntary work and when I saw this advertised I just knew it was what I wanted to do.”

“I joined Home-Start to make a difference to someone whose life, for whatever reason, is difficult but I had forgotten how much I love being with small children and so for me it is a real privilege to be invited to help another mum with her family.”

“When I retired I was looking for some new voluntary work and the Home-Start advertisement caught my eye. The preparation course gave me lots of useful information and the confidence to start visiting families. Over the last two years I have visited five families with very different needs and enjoyed getting to know them all. Although I think I have done little other than befriend them, listen to the mums and play with the children, it seems to have been enough to make a difference and help them through some difficult times. With my own children and grandchildren living away from York Home Start visiting has given me the opportunity to use my experience of ‘grannying’ closer to home. The Home-Start team at the office are on the end of the phone to give me advice if I’m not sure of the best way forward with a family, so I feel well supported even if I’m with a family with complex needs.”

“I really enjoy being a Home-Start volunteer as it is a privilege to be invited into families’ homes. Every family is different and faces different challenges, whether that is having four children under 5, just moving to York and not knowing anyone, having a sudden unexpected change of circumstances or just not coping with what life has thrown at them. It is very rewarding to come alongside families at a time when they are struggling and help them through to a better place.”

“My role, as a Home-Start Volunteer, is to support families with a child under 5, who are experiencing difficulties of one form or another. I am there to provide a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, a voice to support and suggest, and a person to play games with. There are people with real needs who just need a little direction to find the help they require. I get a huge ‘feel-good’ factor from being that person, from feeling that I am doing something, however tiny, to help others. In addition, I feel it is a real privilege to be allowed to play with the children. When a child with problems relating to others, comes up and gives you a hug, it is magical.”