Home Start Butser is a very active and busy local charity and helps people across the District. I am very happy to support Home Start Butser with £500 from my devolved grant fund, but hope that the information below tells you more about the valuable work this organisation does, and to see if you can help out too. Currently Home Start Butser are looking for good people who can help a few hours a week, and are holding a training course on the 26th February. Please find information from Home Start Butser and their contact details below:
Home-Start is the leading family support charity in the UK and provides a unique service for families – recruiting and training volunteers to support parents with young children at home. Home-Start Butser is based in Petersfield and covers the area from Greatham in the North to Rowlands Castle in the South. Last year we were able to support 80 families and almost 200 children during the year.
We recruit and train volunteers to support families who have at least one child under 5. They are referred because they need help during a critical time in their lives, it could be post-natal depression, ill health, isolation, lack of family support, bereavement – any number of reasons. Families can be referred from many sources including Health Visitors, GPs, housing associations, Adult Mental Health.
Volunteers come from all walks of life and the only requirement is that they have been parents themselves and that they undertake a ten week Preparation Course.
Home-Start volunteers visit families at home each week, supporting parents in situations as diverse as isolation, bereavement, multiple births, illness, disability or who are just finding parenting a struggle. They provide non-judgemental practical and emotional support and help build the family’s confidence and ability to cope.
Parents often have great intentions of providing a loving, secure and happy environment but what if life gets in the way?
How does a young expectant mother cope when she learns that her husband has cancer which will require lengthy and difficult treatment? Her whole experience of pregnancy, birth and motherhood has suddenly become very different to the journey that she expected.
What happens to a mum who, after the birth of her second child, suffers from post-natal depression? Suddenly every day becomes an enormous struggle. Self esteem and isolation become issues which worsens the whole situation.
How does a mum cope when her husband leaves and she is left to bring up two young children on her own? This was never part of her life plan – she believed her partner was a reliable husband and father. Suddenly she has to deal with her own sense of rejection, isolation and acute sense of failure, whilst supporting her young children emotionally and practically.
There are many other examples of families struggling: children with Special Needs, twins, unexpected pregnancies, lack of family support, rural isolation and poverty. At Home Start Buster we meet families facing these and many other issues every day. Families who have the courage to admit that they aren’t coping and need help.
Our team of volunteers are amazing people. They give up their time each week to visit families, mainly because, as parents themselves, they recognise the difficult, challenging job that parenting is. Volunteering strengthens a person, developing them in ways that they could not have imagined. Families constantly praise their volunteers – ‘a lifeline’, ‘an amazing person’, ‘it means so much’. To families who are going through a critical time in their lives the visit of a non judgemental person, who just wants to help emotionally or practically, can really make a difference.
It costs £1000 to support a family for a year, just £20 a week. We continue to need to raise funds to help our local families. Referrals are increasing as the pressures on life grow.
If you know about being a parent and can volunteer a few hours a week you could become part of Home-Start. We are running our next Preparation Course in Petersfield, starting February 26th..
What families say about Home-Start Butser
“It felt hard to ask for help at first but once the volunteer started coming to visit, I wished I’d done it years ago.”
“Knowing she would be visiting got me through those early weeks. She helped me forget about all my worries and anxieties for a while which meant I could put them in perspective.”
“With Home-Start’s help I got through a terrible time, and now my house is full of hope and laughter.”
“Knowing that someone cares is wonderful. The feeling of loneliness and despair disappears entirely.”
“My volunteer has been a lifeline for me! She is so lovely, I can talk to her and the children think she’s wonderful. She plays with them or we all go out together to the local park.”
It costs on average £1000 to support a family for a year, or £20 a week.
We are always looking for more trustees, volunteers and ‘friends’ to help with our work. For more information please contact Nicola Winter, Senior Organiser 01730 233755, email email@example.com. Website http://www.homestart-butser.org.uk