I have become a volunteer as I was at a stage in my career and my life
where I was looking to do something else. My child is 12 and he has
just started senior school so he does not need me as much. I went back
to university, finishing last June, and I thought it was about I time
I really put something back into the community in which I live.
I had done a psychology degree and it had got me interested in child
development. I started to have a look around and went into Cotswolds
Volunteers in Cirencester and they went through a number of
opportunities with me. I went through quite a few things before I
found Home-Start. What attracted me was the opportunity to work with
families with children under 5, but also the training that was being
offered seemed to be a structured, supported, way of getting to be a
really useful volunteer, as opposed to presenting myself to an
organisation and just hoping for the best, which I know has happened
to some of my fellow students.
On the course I met my other fellow volunteers and it was just
terrific. Talk about the most amazing bunch of people, a huge cross
section of backgrounds and life experiences. It was one of the best
run courses I have ever been on. And I have been on lots of courses
with my background in human resources! It was well structured, very
professionally produced and the material was excellent. Also it was
tailored by the inclusion of lots of local experiences and case
studies (obviously anonymous) and speakers from local services and
organisations. It was a great course and if you did miss bits it was
structured so you could easily pick it up and Katharine and Janice
were absolutely terrific at delivering it as well.
We are all already skilled as mums and dads and also have skills in
lots of different ways that we don’t even think about….. nevertheless
we have all got experiences. My little boy was very premature so I
have got that experience of having gone through special care and I had
not really realised that this personal experience could make a
difference when talking to a Home-Start family.