Following on from last Sunday's Mother's Day celebrations, Home-Start Arun, Worthing & Adur honours local mums every day, as they help their peers through challenging times.
Home-Start sees day-to-day how local parents supporting parents is vital in helping a young child's development. All of Home-Start's volunteers are parents themselves and are carefully matched with families based on their experiences. They bring empathy, encouragement and reassurance that the parent may need, whilst they are coping with the many challenges of parenthood.
The NHS states, that more than 1 in 10 women are affected by postnatal depression. Staff at Home-Start believe this to be an underestimation. Sadly, this condition can act as a barrier to mum forming a bond with her baby. The Home-Start volunteer will have knowledge and experience of postnatal depression. The volunteer will share their own coping strategies, in order to support mum and potentially encourage mum to seek the help of a GP. This support will give mum confidence to take steps to getting better, which will help her form a stronger bond with her baby and enjoy motherhood. This support will give the baby a better chance to have a healthier, happier start in life.
Gabrielle, a Home-Start volunteer said:
"Mothers helping mothers works because the mums knows you’ve been through similar experiences, and you can provide them with a non-judgemental ear and an extra pair of hands. I always make sure that I can see the family every week as this commitment is really important."
During the last year, 48 volunteers worked with 144 families to make a positive change to the lives of them and their children. After receiving support, 95% of parents said that they felt less isolated, due to the assistance of their volunteer.
The support of volunteers is essential to the families that Home-Start helps. Currently, the team has volunteers from Bognor Regis, Arundel, Worthing and more but sadly, last year, 1 in 5 families referred to Home-Start couldn’t get the support they needed. With more trained volunteers, more local families will be supported.
Jane Lyons, an Organiser at Home-Start said:
"Mothers helping mothers provides reassurance. It’s about sitting alongside someone who has similar experiences to you, listening to them and letting them know that they’re not alone. It's powerful to see the peer support that families will give to each other at groups too, watching them interact and realise that they’re not alone."
If you are a parent, who would like to make a difference to the life of a local family, Home-Start would love to hear from you. Training last 8 days over 8 weeks and is free. The next training course for volunteers starts on Wednesday 1st May, in Worthing. Call the office for further information and an application form: 01903 889707.