I always thought about volunteering for an organisation but something better always came along - a shopping trip with the girls, a drink out with friends. Or so I thought.
After an accident at work, I was left bruised and bored. The doctor suggested I take small walks twice a day. I looked forward to walking through the tree-lined avenue near my house and it was after one of these walks, when I was sitting down to rest my back, that I noticed an advert in the paper about volunteering for Home-Start.
The charity said they were looking for volunteers to befriend families who were going through difficult times. I thought, “I can do that”.
I enquired about the 11-week course and within a couple of weeks I was attending my first training session, sat next to women from all backgrounds and walks of life – married , single, employed, unemployed. We all had one thing in common; we wanted to make a difference to other people’s lives.
More than ten years later and I am still volunteering and and loving every minute of it. I am now working alongside my 8th family. Volunteering for Home-Start has been challenging at times but very rewarding and I am still in touch with two of the families I supported.
I give 100 per cent of my two hours a week to Home-Start and I would encourage anyone else who is thinking of taking the plunge to put themselves forward as a volunteer. Two hours out of your week to help a family going through a tough time can make a huge difference.