Home-Start volunteers provide invaluable mentoring and emotional support to other parents experiencing isolation.
“As many are parents themselves, our Home-Start volunteers lead by example in their words and actions and strive to be positive role models and mentors,” says program coordinator, Teresa Garland.
“The respectful and friendly approach each volunteer brings, and their willingness to share their own parenting experiences, allows them to quickly build trusting relationships with families.”
The feedback received from families has been overwhelmingly positive.
“It helps to know that someone reliable is visiting each week. I was able to talk to her very easily about any subject,” one Home-Start participant said.
Home-Start volunteers undergo an intensive training block over several weeks prior to commencing.
Their professional backgrounds are diverse, yet all have imagination, communicate effectively, and operate without judgement to ease the burden of socially isolated families.
“Every volunteer in the team has displayed an ability to relate to children of all ages, be creative in the use of their time, and offer friendship, mentoring and practical support where necessary,” says Teresa.
“The relationships forged during their engagement with the families are a tribute to the personal qualities of the team members.”
Our Home-Start volunteers visit each family weekly and are asked to make a commitment of up to 12 months.
Several volunteers are so passionate about the program and the positive impact they have seen it can have that they now mentor several families at a time.