Family support charity needs 20 extra volunteers

Home Start Lorn needs your help Picture@Aitchison / HomeStart UK

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A Lorn charity supporting families through tough times has launched a campaign to recruit more volunteers.

A rise in need since the pandemic means Home-Start Lorn is looking for 20 people who can spare even just an hour a week to help deliver their services to families.

Whether that is being matched to support a family as a home-visitor or telephone befriender, becoming a charity trustee or a fundraiser – the charity needs you.

Home-Start Lorn manager Hannah Gillies said: ‘Home Start has seen referrals rise during the pandemic making the charity more important than ever in supporting parents who may suffer with a number of challenges that could include isolation, loneliness, mental health, financial worries, disabilities and bereavement.

‘We are looking for people who can pass forward some of their spare time and kindness in order to make a real difference to another person’s life.

‘If you have the time, we have the role. Be a volunteer for Home-Start and make an impact on a child that will last a lifetime.’

Home-Start Lorn needs to recruit the extra 20 volunteers to help to respond to families after Covid.

The charity has not only seen an increased demand but also many volunteers who have worked with the charity for a long time stopped volunteering during the pandemic so new help is needed.

Home-Start Lorn is among a network of more than 180 Home-Starts across the UK whose staff and trained volunteers offer parents compassionate, non-judgemental support.

As part of the Home-Visiting service, volunteers complete an in-depth training programme after which they are matched to a family who they visit once a week.

One Home-Start mother on Mull, who has been getting support from the charity for the last two years, said: ‘Our volunteer was absolutely amazing and has been a godsend.

‘My daughter loves her to bits and whenever I needed her she was there which was comforting to have.

‘She has watched my daughter grow up into the cheeky toddler she is and has supported me massively.’

Manager Hannah added: ‘Our volunteers are all ages, male and female, with many different backgrounds and experiences. Not all of them are parents.

‘Being a parent has never been easy. It can be lonely, frustrating, heart breaking and over-whelming. Life-changing events can happen to anyone.

‘That is why we are here to stand alongside families when they need us most – and we need more amazing volunteers to help us do that.’

You can find out out more about volunteering here: www.home-start.org.uk/pages/category/ways-to-volunteer-for-home-start

Jennie Mann, head of volunteering for Home-Start UK, said: ‘Our roots in communities mean we are well placed to stand alongside families facing challenges in their lives.

‘We are extremely proud of the achievements of Home-Start Lorn and the incredible work the expert staff and volunteers undertake locally. We look forward to welcoming more volunteers on board to help us continue our vital work.’