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I needed Home-Start support because I felt alone with 2 little boys, my family being a long way off and my husband working long hours. I was struggling with my youngest son’s behaviour and had no-one to support me.

Home-Start showed me where I could get support from

I had to wait a few weeks before there was a volunteer available but I was signposted to my local Sure Start Children’s centre where I was able to attend a parenting course and found out about other events such as the summer scheme for children with special educational needs that my eldest son attended. I was also supported to attend 2 trips with Home-Start over the summer, whilst I was waiting to meet my volunteer in the autumn.

How my volunteer helped

I have appreciated having someone to talk to about my child’s behaviour. My volunteer has been someone that can see things at ‘face value’; she was unbiased and didn’t just see him as ‘cute’ as his grandparents tend to. My volunteer was ‘grounded’, giving me practical ideas and confirming that I needed to get on top of his behaviour. Not only that she didn’t judge me or ask “why are you doing that?”

We are so different now

We are so different now from when my volunteer started coming. She made me see that I ‘wasn’t quite right’ and the questionnaire that I completed at the Children’s centre seemed to be saying the same thing – that I was ‘on the edge’ all of the time. I realised that I needed to see my GP which is where I got the help that I needed. My youngest son has grown up and changed anyway.

There is no comparing that support that you get from Home-Start with what you get from other people and parents. It’s about finding some support when you are on your own all of the time. Having children is really hard.

I now have the confidence that I can take the boys to the swings, for example. I wouldn’t have done that last year.

Claire, Towcester