Why volunteer with Home-Start Morecambe and Lancaster?
Meet Pat - Home-Start Morecambe and Lancaster's longest serving volunteer.
Having been with the organisation for the past 16 years, she brings a wealth of parenting experience with her. Here, she explains what she enjoyed about volunteering with Home-Start - a charity which helps families with children through their challenging times and why she would recommend it to others.
Pat decided to volunteer as she had time on her hands after experiencing a bereavement and wanted to give something back to the community. She attended Home-Start's training course. She said she learned a lot and felt very confident after attending the course.
Over the years Pat has supported just under 35 families with Home-Start. Some families require support for two to three years, while others for two to three weeks only. Pat has also become a member of the charity's trustee board being a voice for all our volunteers and has successfully completed fundraising missions for the Home-Start Scheme.
Pat recalls how she once supported a family with an 18-month-old baby, where she offered emotional support, and helped the mum get out and about. This made the mum feel more confident to talk to Pat about other issues in relation to her past. Pat offered this support for around a year and when the support finished, the mum felt confident enough to start working again.
A spokesman for Home-Start Morecambe and Lancaster said: "Pat gets a great sense of achievement by just being there for the families and listening. Pat sees this as a great reward, as she sees that the families are enjoying her going round and helping them. Families always need help with all sorts of things; such as children's behavior, emotional support, or support with multiple children under the age of five..
"It is very important to remember that all volunteers are there to help and advise and to be a friend. Our volunteers are not professionals."
Anyone wishing to volunteer with Home-Start is asked to call 01524 414871.