Home-Start Kirklees staff and trustees would like to say a huge thank you to one of our volunteers who has given us 9 years of commitment in supporting families through-out Kirklees. Last month we sadly said goodbye and paid tribute to one of our amazing home visiting volunteers Karen Thomas.
Karen joined us on our preparation course in January 2011 and has, since that time, supported 10 families. Karen has done an amazing job supporting families in lots of different circumstances & with differing needs, Karen helped a lone father with multiple children under the age of five, a lone mother with multiple children in the age range of 17 years down to 8 months old. Families with multiple births, families where there have been issues for parents around anxiety and depression, families where parents had left abusive relationships and were learning to live independently, families who needed practical help and emotional support.
When we first met Karen she was taking a short career break and very keen to have some volunteering experience. Karen’s back ground was in teaching and she worked with children with additional educational needs and also with young offenders as a special needs co-ordinator.
Home-Start operations manager Michelle Steadman says ‘When I first met Karen and discussed her skills and abilities I knew we potentially had another quality volunteer on our hands with lots of life skills a little time to spare, Karen was a busy mother with two teenage children and many other time consuming tasks to complete in her day to day life. However, Karen took up the mantle and Home-Start were very lucky to have her on board.
Karen says ‘I have really loved my time volunteering with Home-Start – seeing parents overcome difficult times in their lives and watching their children benefit from the help and support we are able to give is extremely rewarding. I have felt very well supported as a volunteer and would recommend this experience to anyone who is toying with the idea of volunteering. I was able to take breaks and time out over the 9-year period when my own commitments took over and then was always coaxed back to take another family. Home-Start volunteering is a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in families and raising young children with a few hours a week to spare.’
Michelle adds – Families have reported feeling ‘brighter’ and more in control of their lives having benefited from Home-Start support. Children have thrived under the care and support from our volunteers and it is safe to say that the time and dedication Karen has committed to supporting families for Home-Start has paid off with parents overcoming many difficult issues enabling them to better care for themselves and their children and to give their children a much improved start in life which they may not have otherwise had.
Thank you Karen and to all our wonderful volunteers at Home-Start – Working alongside you all helping families within the Kirklees community to thrive continues to be an absolute pleasure!’
For more information about volunteering please call us on 01484 421925. Our next volunteer training sessions will start on 26th September 2019 and run in parent friendly hours 9.30am – 2.30pm one day per week for 7 weeks, with a break for the half term holiday.