Home-Start met Lauren and her family shortly after their new baby was diagnosed with brain damage. Lauren and her husband were completely overwhelmed with the emotional and practical demands of caring for a baby suffering with multiple seizures and being unsettled day and night, while also trying to juggle the needs of their other children.
Life was turned upside down for the family with hospital appointments, admissions and the worry of an unknown future. Their Health Visitor referred them to Home-Start Suffolk, who introduced them to Ruth, a trained Home-Start volunteer. Ruth visits Lauren and the children once a week, providing support when Lauren’s husband works late.
Having Ruth there to share the load enables all of the children to get vital one-on-one attention: reading, playing or doing school work. Mum or Ruth cook dinner and they all sit together while Ruth holds or sings to the baby. Lauren’s evenings are less chaotic and easier to manage with Ruth’s help.
Lauren says she felt “immediately at ease” with Ruth and found it easy to talk to her when she was having a difficult week. Although the family’s situation is the same, her visits have allowed the family time to adjust and explore what ongoing support is needed and available to them.
Home-Start in Suffolk has family support volunteering opportunities all across Suffolk. Although we value parenting experience, you don’t have to have children or grandchildren of your own to help. You just need a little time and a willingness to make a difference. By joining our team, you will receive accredited training, ongoing support and friendship. Our volunteers support a family on a weekly basis for between two and four hours.
If you think you could give some of your time to support a Suffolk family, please contact Fiona on 01473 621104. By giving the gift of time, you will help to change the lives of families in Suffolk. Visit: www.homestartinsuffolk.org.