Mature volunteers in Goulburn and Crookwell are sought for a home visiting program, getting alongside parents and children in a helpful, caring way. "Home-Start families come to us with a variety of experiences [including] isolation and loneliness," says family worker Mhairi Fraser.
Families may be new to the region or separated from their wider family, so sharing the joys and challenges of bringing up young children is not available, and overwhelming.
Home-Start volunteers are a critical link between family and community. "I love the creativity of the volunteer role," says Sue Robinson, who regularly visits a family with three children under four. "We celebrate birthdays, make playdough animals and visit the library. I'm a listening ear and an extra pair of hands."
Brenda Writer has volunteered with Home-Start for over a decade. "No two families are alike. Sometimes I chat with mum as we fold a mountain of washing; I may have a three-year-old in my lap for a story or a fretful baby to soothe. I'm a kind-of grandmother figure; who doesn't need a grandmother?"
All Home-Start volunteers are trained and supervised. The next program starts on May 7 and training runs every Tuesday and Wednesday morning until graduation on May 21.
- To train as a volunteer home visitor, contact Mhairi Fraser on 0427 466 847 or firstname.lastname@example.org