Last week Home-Start R&H held their AGM at the Rushmoor Council Offices and had a fantastic attendance with many supporters joining them including the Chairman of Hart District Council and the Deputy Mayor of Rushmoor Borough Council, local Councillors, Health Visitors, Children’s Services and other agency representatives as well as several of the trained Home-Start Volunteers.
Everyone was welcomed by Lynn Ludford, Chair, and Amanda Hardacre, Senior Co-ordinator of Home-Start Rushmoor and Hart, before the Chair gave an overview of the challenges and success of running the Home-Start Rushmoor & Hart scheme over the last year. The Senior Co-ordinator then explained how the charity is helping even more families in need this year and the exciting new projects we are in the process of launching.
Most inspiring of all, however, was an emotional talk given by Natalie, a young mother Home-Start had been supporting until recently, but who now feels she would like to support other parents who are struggling, and is currently training to be a volunteer. Having been through a very tough childhood herself, experiencing mental health issues and fleeing a domestic violence situation, Natalie explained how Home-Start had helped her to become independent and more confident in herself and improved her parenting skills with the support of her volunteer, Julie. Julie was unable to make the AGM but sent a message saying she was ‘so proud of Natalie, and seeing her beautiful daughter grow into a happy, confident child had been wonderful’. The volunteer went on to explain this was down to ‘how hard Natalie has worked and how far she has come, showing what a good mum she is’. Everyone in the room could not help but to be moved and inspired by Natalie’s story.
Natalie said ‘due to my own experiences, I feel like I can now give something back. I’ve had a lot of professionals involved in my life but the 6 months of Home-Start support has made the biggest difference and I want to offer that as a volunteer to help other families.’
Following Natalie’s Story, Pat, a local Health Visitor who attended the event added ‘I wanted to thank you for all the support you give to some of the families that we work with. We know how important the service is and our families have found it invaluable.’
Home-Start Rushmoor and Hart always need new volunteers and run Preparation courses 2-3 times a year. Volunteers must have parenting experience, be willing to attend the Preparation course and undergo an enhanced DBS check. For further information and to apply for the next course running in Spring 2018, please contact the office on 01252 398530 or email firstname.lastname@example.org