Being a parent has never been easy. It can be lonely, frustrating, heart-breaking and overwhelming. The charity Home-Start is ready to support you through your toughest times. Home-Start volunteers are trained to work alongside you to overcome the challenges you’re facing. They can help you to build on your strengths and give you the support you need.
Thanks to Armed Forces Covenant funding, Home-Start York works directly with military families from Fulford and Strensall Barracks, and RAF Linton-on-Ouse. A Home-Start York volunteer can be linked with you, visit weekly and help with the challenges of parenting young children under the age of six.
One military wife, who has two young children, attended a Home-Start forces family bus trip around York. She realised Home-Start offered her the kind of support she really needed. She spoke with the team and mentioned she felt isolated and lonely.
Bringing families together
The team were planning an art project to help bring together military wives and Home-Start volunteers. The project was to complete a painted garden mural on the wall of the dementia unit at South Park Care Home, Acomb, York. The mum had always wanted to go to art college, so she jumped at the chance to design the mural.
Each week she had a home visit from a volunteer who spent time with the children playing, whilst she drew up her designs, appreciating the adult company in her home. After a few weeks of organising, the mural project began.
Each Friday with paint brushes in hand, care home staff, military families and the Home-Start volunteers gathered and painted her design, encouraging the children to join in too. At half-term, older siblings joined in whilst residents watched, an unexpected bonus for everyone, as well as enjoying the Friday treats provided by the local fish and chip shop.
When she became a single parent due to marital issues and needed to transition from military to civilian life, Home-Start’s volunteers helped her deal with the practical issues, finding new accommodation and helping to settle her children into a new home. Their advice, support and encouragement helped her continue with the mural project until its completion. She feels the transition would have been a lot tougher without the support of the project and its volunteers and staff.
If you could do with some support through a challenging time, there are over 200 independent Home-Starts working in local authority areas across the UK. Find your nearest network at home-start.org.uk