Our Families

There’s no such thing as a typical Home-Start family

Every family we help has its own individual set of needs and challenges, including:

  • poor emotional wellbeing

  • illness

  • disabilities

  • a lack of confidence

  • isolation from their community

  • multiple births

  • child behavioural issues

  • learning difficulties

  • a lack of support

We spend time getting to know each family, agreeing with them the particular areas we can help them with and setting some goals. Then, with regular support, we track the progress made by the family in attaining their goals.

  • poor emotional wellbeing

  • illness

  • disabilities

  • a lack of confidence

  • isolation from their community

  • multiple births

  • child behavioural issues

  • learning difficulties

  • a lack of support

We spend time getting to know each family, agreeing with them the particular areas we can help them with and setting some goals. Then, with regular support, we track the progress made by the family in attaining their goals.

For examples of the types of family we help see our Home-Start Stories.

I’m a single parent with two children. I’ve suffered with depression on and off over the years and was on prescription medication for an ongoing back pain.

When my youngest child was two years old she was really challenging because she seemed to find it really difficult to express herself and she would get frustrated and upset all the time. She was later diagnosed with autism.  At times this could be really overwhelming.  I found it hard to just get her out of the house so ended up spending more and more time at home.  I felt isolated, lost a lot of confidence, lacked motivation and found it hard to get out of bed in the morning.

My Home-Start volunteer was always there to listen to my problems and offer support. We would sit and have a cup of tea and a chat and then she would play with my daughter so that I could do some housework.

With her help my confidence grew and I was able to get out of the house more, which meant I felt less isolated and more able to cope with the challenges of parenting.  My Home-Start volunteer really helped me and it means a lot to me that we are still friends 5 years later.

Chris's Story, Home-Start

This family has six children aged 3, 5, 7, 11, 14 and 17.  They live in a small house with the four girls (aged 6-14) all sharing one bedroom. Dad has a low paid job so it is hard to make ends meet.  During lockdown he has been working from home but because all the children have also been at home, he has found it hard to find a space to work, so has ended up working in the car.  Mum has depression and anxiety. She has really struggled with the stress of home-schooling, how to keep the kids entertained and worrying about them going back to school.

Our family support volunteer has kept in regular contact with the mum by phone and text, listening to how she is feeling and making suggestions of fun things to do like making wooden spoon dolls, ball games, feeding the birds and having themed mealtimes.  She has also sent her scavenger hunts and links to online story-times and even delivered art and craft materials and activity packs from The Cowshed. During these visits our volunteer has been able to have socially distanced chats with both Mum and Dad about how they are coping and how she can help.

A family we helped during Lockdown in 2020, Home-Start

In the toughest of times, just knowing we are there for them, even remotely, is a huge support to families.

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