Home-Start volunteering is so rewarding

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Home-Start are looking for kind, caring parent and grandparent volunteers to join their team of 100 volunteers who support local families across the area.

Home-Start Central Bedfordshire has been recruiting and training volunteers to befriend and support families with children under five for the past 30 years. Last year the charity, which was founded in Leighton Buzzard, supported more than 350 families who came to them for help.

Being a parent with young children can be tough at any time but in this current economic climate the pressures on families are even greater and for those already struggling to cope with illness, disability, isolation, bereavement or just the challenge of parenting, life can seem overwhelming.

All volunteers attend an informal induction course and after that the time commitment is just a couple of hours each week. But that couple of hours can be a lifeline for a family who are struggling.

The pictured group of volunteers, below right, attended the last course and are now matched up with families who they visit once a week to provide emotional and practical support.

Natalie, one of the volunteers said: “Being a Home-Start volunteer is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done and costs nothing other than a few hours of my time”.

Jane, who has been a home visiting volunteer for 12 years said: “People laugh at me when I say that I get more from supporting families than they get from me. But it’s true. It can be hard work. But it’s so rewarding that I’ve never wanted to stop.”

The charity would love to hear from you on 01582 660016, or email office@home-startcentralbeds.org.uk if you would be interested in knowing more. More information can be found on their website www.