supporting families & local communities in Calderdale

A Story from Jenny

I was at a quite positive time in my life (after being through a relationship breakdown and family bereavements) when I saw an advertisement for Home Start.

I had been an assistant leader (Tawny Owl) for a Brownie pack for a number of years which unfortunately folded because of lack of leaders... Although I hadn’t heard of Home Start I researched it and eventually applied, which now I look back I wonder why it took me so long!

My initial meeting was with Linda and was very relaxed, not like a job interview at all. Linda explained all that was involved leaving nothing to the imagination... I attended the preparation course, which was excellent, every Saturday morning for six weeks. All the Home Start team were very supportive and helpful making the training fun and very informative.

I was eager to support a family but a little apprehensive. As I worked full time I could only visit on an evening. I stayed with my first family for a few years and really enjoyed supporting them although at the time I didn’t feel as though I was doing much to help as I seemed to spend most of the time listening and talking to the mum who felt she could share all her stresses and problems with me. The mum really pulled through a very traumatic time and eventually became a Home Start volunteer herself. She should be really proud of her achievements. We became good friends and still keep in touch.  I have just finished supporting a family who I have been with for 4 years and felt like part of their family, hopefully we will also keep in touch! At present I have just begun supporting two families and hope to make their lives that little bit easier.

As I worked full time I was unable to attend most of the courses and events but now I have finished work I hope to attend more and become more involved.

All the staff at Home Start are so helpful and supportive nothing is too much trouble for them especially Linda and my co-ordinator Sam who is brilliant. I can fully recommend any parent considering volunteer work to join Home Start as it is so rewarding to both the volunteer and the family they support. Just two hours a week can make all the difference to them.