Home-Start Wandsworth volunteers are there for families when they need them the most and during these difficult times, many families are struggling more than ever.
Following government guidance, Home-Start Wandsworth has suspended all home-visiting services but volunteers have remained as committed as ever to supporting their Home-Start family, understanding and quickly adapting to the new challenges.
Volunteers continue to provide non-judgemental emotional support to families via the telephone or video call. Just seeing a friendly face is making an enormous difference to so many families who are feeling anxious, lonely and isolated. Home-Start volunteers are also continuing to offer practical support, delivering essential items, like food, medical and baby supplies to the most vulnerable families who are unable to leave their home. With lockdown restrictions now easing, some families are feeling really fearful about getting out and about again and returning to some form of normality. Volunteers have been instrumental in helping them adjust, starting with socially distance walks in the park.
“My volunteer has been an amazing friend who has been a big part of our lives. She has been my sunshine on many dark days.” – A Home-Start mum
Fiona and Claire’s story
Home-Start Wandsworth volunteers Fiona and Claire, support Emma*, a Mum with MS who has a young baby. They were first matched with Emma, soon after the baby was born and had been visiting her twice a week helping her with chores, taking her to medical appointments and supporting her to get out and about with the baby.
Following lockdown, they were no longer able to visit Emma and they were extremely concerned for her wellbeing. Emma was alone looking after a young baby 24/7 and her MS also meant that she was advised not to leave the house so she was unable to see anyone.
Fiona and Claire take it in turns to video call Emma every day. Just seeing a friendly face and having a chat helps brighten Emma’s day. Fiona and Claire also took it upon themselves to organise and deliver food to Emma’s doorstep and toys for the baby. Being parents, themselves, Fiona and Claire were able to give advice on weaning and playtime that Emma was grateful for.
As we start to come out of lockdown, Fiona and Claire are keen to help Emma get more mobile again and start exercising outdoors. In the weeks and months to come, both Fiona and Sarah will continue to support Emma emotionally, helping her to get into the right mental mindset so she can go back to work and return to some normality again. *name changed to protect identity.
Home-Start Wandsworth are always looking for people to join their amazing network of volunteers. “Although I wasn’t necessarily looking to meet new people and make new friends, I definitely have. My experiences have surpassed my expectation.” – A Home-Start Volunteer
If you could spare 2-4 hours a week to support a local vulnerable family and make a difference that could last a lifetime, then please do get in touch at email@example.com or call on 020 7924 5268.