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“It wasn’t the reward that mattered or the recognition you might harvest. It was your depth of commitment, your quality of service, the product of your devotion – these were the things that counted in life. When you gave purely, the honour was in giving, and that was honour enough.”

This was a quote that I recently found whilst thinking of my time as a volunteer and I felt that it summed up just how I feel about volunteering for Home-Start. I have been a volunteer for about two and a half years now and my initial thought was ‘what can I give to my local community’. I chose Home-Start Northampton after much consideration on where I felt I would fit in and I was right, I have loved every minute.

I started with my first family with trepidation, hoping that I would have the skills that the family needed and that they would like me. I was so surprised how comfortably I fitted into this new role and how just being myself was enough to encourage and give the support that they need to get their life back on track. I have supported four families so far, each having completely different needs, and was really surprised to learn that the life skills that I have acquired along the way are just what each of these families need, a listening ear, a positive outlook or just encouraging these families that they can achieve what they want to achieve.

The most surprising thing for me is just how much I get back from doing this, the self-fulfilment that I wasn’t expecting, the boost you get when someone says thankyou makes every second of volunteering worthwhile.