Charity recruiting for volunteers to help families in need
- Credit: Home-Start
A charity which supports families across Royston and surrounding areas is calling for volunteers to sign up next month.
Home-Start Royston, Buntingford and South Cambridgeshire is looking for mums, dads, grandparents or carers to offer vital support to help families in need.
Anyone who wishes to become a volunteer must complete the relevant preparation course - but you do not need any formal qualifications beyond parenting or caring experience.
One volunteer, who has been supporting families for four years, said: "Working as a Home-Start volunteer is such a privilege and has enriched my life enormously over the last few years.
"I have made new friends among the volunteer team and worked with some incredible families, while all the time being supported by the most friendly and dedicated staff team.
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"When I started the training, I never dreamt that by giving up a small amount of my time each week I could make such a difference to families who needed a little support.
"Being prepared to chat, listen, play, show encouragement and be supportive is all it takes."
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Once qualified, volunteers are asked to give as little as two hours a week to helping parents and their children who may be lacking an existing support network of family and friends.
Another volunteer, who has been providing one-on-one support via Zoom, said: "I was asked to provide some individual support to one of the families who attended the Home-Start Family Group, during the time that lockdown prevented us from meeting in person.
"Using Zoom was a new experience for both the family and me, and inevitably it took a bit of getting used to, but somehow we both made it work.
"We met at a regular time each week on Zoom, usually for about an hour. The time spent together was not about giving answers to problems, or looking for magic solutions, but exploring together what issues were arising, how they might be eased or addressed, and the ways in which this might happen.
"I certainly gained from the opportunity to meet in this way as much as (hopefully) the family did."
The charity's next home-visiting volunteers course starts at the end of February, and includes eight three-hour sessions.
To get involved, go to http://www.hsrsc.org.uk/become-home-start-volunteer/