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I'm a Home start Volunteer - AMA

30 replies

dontknowwhattodo80 · 07/07/2018 20:29

I'm a Homestart volunteer- ask me anything!

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tissuesosoft · 07/07/2018 20:33

I don’t have anything to ask- but thank you for being a volunteer. I had one a couple of years back, she was truly amazing and was one of the biggest factors for pulling myself out of PND Flowers

AdorableMisfit · 07/07/2018 20:37

I've got a Home Start volunteer coming to my house on Tuesday. I have no idea what to expect. Could you tell me a little about what you actually do please?

dontknowwhattodo80 · 07/07/2018 21:49

That's lovely to hear, thank you @tissuesosoft x

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mangocoveredlamb · 07/07/2018 21:51

I would have lost my mind without my lovely home start volunteer.

Do you ever get asked to move on before you think a family is ready?

dontknowwhattodo80 · 07/07/2018 21:55

@AdorableMisfit - it depends what you've been given a volunteer for?

I sit and listen. Sometimes that's all that's needed, other times I try and give advice or signpost them to somewhere. I've had a few families now, from a mum with 2 under 2 and anxiety issues, to a Mum with a personality disorder.

I'm not perfect, but I like to think I'm a friendly face and will talk to anyone! I do love a good chat Grin

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dontknowwhattodo80 · 07/07/2018 21:58

@mangocoveredlamb - I haven't had that situation! I had a family who I felt it didn't matter what I did, the mum needed to put the effort in herself ( which she didn't) so I was moved on

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pud1 · 07/07/2018 21:59

I work for homestart. I would like to ask you what do you find most valuable in being a volunteer. What if anything could homestart do to enhance your experience

greenlanes · 07/07/2018 22:00

Nothing to ask but I remain grateful to my HomeStart volunteer. Actually listened to me which was more than any "professional" bothered to do.

IHaveBrilloHair · 07/07/2018 22:02

How did you get into it?
I'm not ready yet due to health issues but I'd love to have a voluntary role like this in future.

WindyWednesday · 07/07/2018 22:07

Wonderful thing to do. I had two volunteers. One went off sick long term and the second got bored. But I’m grateful for having the chance.

AdorableMisfit · 07/07/2018 22:44

I was referred by my health visitor because my husband is working in India for 6 months and I'm on my own with an 8 year old with possible ADHD and a 6 month old baby with no family support. I guess what I mostly need is some practical support - someone to help with all the stuff that never gets done around the house, and someone who can maybe give me a break now and then.

Strippervicar · 08/07/2018 01:17

Why did my homestart worker always insist on parking in the next culdesac and not on my drive that has space for 4 cars on the road just outside like a normal person?

Also, why did she keep changing dates at the last minute?

lastnightidreamtofpotatoes · 08/07/2018 01:24

I mostly need some practical support

Adorable when I had my second child (who like dc1 had complex care needs) my HV referred me to Homestart for practical help. She said someone could run the Hoover over whilst I was bathing the boys for example. When the Homestart woman came out to do her assessment and I mentioned practical support she was really cross, saying that they were not a cleaning service and she was sick of people thinking that.

WindyWednesday · 08/07/2018 07:13

When I was assessed for my volunteer it was stressed they don’t clean or do anything like that. Basically they are like a friend or family member there to pop in and have a chat.

Mine was meant to take me out, but she didn’t want to and really I was happy with that. She couldn’t drive me anywhere.

The thing that was weird was I could tell when she’d had a review about me, she’d be all strange for a bit, asking me things and then relaxed again and we went back to the odd way. She was lovely, but it was quite a forced relationship.

Unfortunately my local branch closed down as I had thought of becoming a volunteer to repay them for the support they gave me.

dontknowwhattodo80 · 08/07/2018 09:10

@pud1 - I like the feeling of being in a team, I feel very valued by the Homestart staff

I can't think of anything that they could do! I love it so much that I'm hoping eventually to get a paid job with them. Such an amazing organisation

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dontknowwhattodo80 · 08/07/2018 09:13

@IHaveBrilloHair - A long story, but i was looking into support for a friend who's child was on chemotherapy. Found Homestart and thought I could do that!

I volunteer 3 days a week- 2 days at a Homestart group and 1 day with my HS family.

You do as much as you like, most volunteers choose to do either group or family but I do both, but that's because I have time! Honestly, they appreciate any time you can give x

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WanderingTrolley1 · 08/07/2018 09:14

Is there any sort of vetting to become a Home Start volunteer?

dontknowwhattodo80 · 08/07/2018 09:19

@Strippervicar - ooh that's a weird one! No idea about the parking ?! Maybe it was to keep it private that you've got a Homestart volunteer? In case someone recognises your car? Clutching at straws there!

No idea about the changing of plans either, sorry. I've had to cancel once I think, when my DS was ill, but I'd always try and commit where I can

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dontknowwhattodo80 · 08/07/2018 09:21

@WanderingTrolley1 - we have to be DBS checked, attend a Homestart course ( over several weeks) inc safe guarding. We're also given supervision's on a regular basis

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dontknowwhattodo80 · 08/07/2018 09:26

@AdorableMisfit - it's true, we're not cleaners, however we can help with playing with children whilst you tidy up/ cook etc, help you to make a housework plan etc

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dontknowwhattodo80 · 08/07/2018 09:28

@WindyWednesday - that's a shame that your volunteer didn't want to take you out, was that on the original plan?

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msundermined · 08/07/2018 09:31

What do you actually do? Which sounds combative and I don’t mean it to.

tissuesosoft · 08/07/2018 10:02

My home start volunteer used to take DD for a walk so I could clean, put washing away or cook a meal. She also took us to groups, meet ups, into the local town or just out for the day to the local national trust. A main contributing factor to having a home start volunteer was isolation - I was staying somewhere with no public transport and I didn’t drive.

dontknowwhattodo80 · 08/07/2018 10:11

@msundermined - loads of stuff!

I've supported a mum who wanted to be able to take her children to toddler groups but felt too anxious to. So I went with her a couple of times so she had someone to sit with. She's since made a friend there so I wasn't needed anymore. She also didn't have any confidence on buses ( and didn't drive) so we sat together looking at bus routes and times and did a couple of journeys together.

Other volunteers have been allocated to help families learn basic meals, set up routines, sort through paper work etc

I know of one volunteer who helps a family where the mum is currently having chemo- so she goes with them to the hospital and sits with the children whilst the mum has her treatment.

I'm trying to think of other examples!

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dontknowwhattodo80 · 08/07/2018 10:14

@tissuesosoft - you've summed it up perfectly!

I look at it that with the practical stuff, we're there to support you whilst you do it. So that could be helping with children, finding recipes etc.

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