Welsh charity launches campaign to find community volunteers for rewarding role

A Welsh charity which supports families through some of their most difficult times has launched a campaign to recruit more volunteers to join its team after seeing an increase in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Home-Start Cymru is looking for people who can dedicate even an hour a week to help provide their services to families.

This can be by supporting a family as a home or telephone visitor, taking on a leadership role as a charity administrator, or perhaps using skills to help with family groups or fundraisers.

Bethan Webber, Managing Director of Home-Start Cymru, said: “Home-Start Cymru has seen referrals increase during the pandemic, which makes the charity more important than ever to support parents facing many challenges, including isolation, loneliness, mental health, financial worries, disabilities and bereavement.

“We’re looking for people who can dedicate some of their free time and kindness to make a real difference in another person’s life.

“If you have time, we have the role. Volunteer for Home-Start Cymru and have an impact on a child that will last a lifetime.

Home-Start Cymru is to recruit 150 volunteers to help respond to families after COVID-19.

The charity has not only seen increased demand but also many volunteers who have worked with the charity for a long time have stopped volunteering during the pandemic.

New volunteers are needed to meet the need.

Home-Start Cymru works across 18 local authorities in Wales whose trained staff and volunteers offer compassionate, non-judgmental support to parents.

As part of the home visiting service, volunteers undergo an extensive training program after which they are matched with a family whom they visit once a week.

One mum described it as ‘life-changing’ when her volunteer came in weekly to hold her crying and colic baby, allowing her to shower in peace and then sort through the paperwork.

A disabled mother received help cooking with her children in lockdown, and a refugee family gained the confidence to explore their area thanks to their volunteer taking them outside.

A mum of a baby with Down’s syndrome, who was born with two holes in his heart requiring surgery, says her volunteer has become an emotional lifeline she didn’t even realize she needed.

Bethan Webber added, “Volunteering is a wonderfully rewarding opportunity to give of your time knowing that it makes a big difference to a family in our community.

“It’s such a simple yet powerful concept. Our volunteers are of all ages, male and female, with many different backgrounds and experiences. Not all of them are parents.

“Being a parent has never been easy. It can be lonely, frustrating, heartbreaking and overwhelming. Life changing events can happen to anyone.

“That’s why we’re here to support families when they need us most – and we need more amazing volunteers to help us do that.”

As a Home-Start Cymru volunteer, you will receive training and support to be effective and make a real difference to families in your community.

You will also develop transferable skills that can support you in your life, whether at home or at work.

Lynne Powell, Head of Volunteer Recruitment and Development for Home-Start Cymru, said: “Our roots in communities mean we are well placed to support families facing challenges in their lives.

“We are extremely proud of the achievements of Home-Start Cymru and the incredible work the expert staff and volunteers are undertaking locally.

“We look forward to welcoming more volunteers on board to help us continue our vital work.”

To sign up to become a Home-Start Cymru volunteer or find out more about volunteering opportunities, visit: homestartcymru.org.uk/volunteer.

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