More than 100 children are referred to Home-Start UK every day. These are children whose parents are struggling to cope with any number of problems, from disability to domestic violence. These families often have complex and long term needs which create multiple risk factors for a child’s development, meaning they can miss out on the love, routine and support that are vital for their future.
Beth was diagnosed with post-natal depression after her son, Alexander, was born. Although Beth’s family were supportive she often felt that she struggled to cope with her son on her own. Beth found out about Home-Start from her health visitor and was matched with her volunteer, Dorothy, when Alexander was three months old.
Beth said: “The fact that our wonderful volunteer came to us at home was hugely important to me because at various points in my illness I found that I couldn’t leave the house.” Dorothy helped with simple things like getting Beth out of the house for short walks to the local shops or even out to the country.
Having post-natal depression also affected the relationship that Beth had with Alexander. Things such as playing games, singing songs or reading books seemed like a chore, something that had to be done to keep her son quiet.
Beth said: “Dorothy loved playing with Alexander. My mum came to stay with us and when she arrived she said that she could hear my son all the way down the street. Being a part of that much joy is infectious and helped lift my spirits enormously.
“Home-Start helped me through one of the toughest times in my life and I can’t imagine how it would have been without them. They gave me support, encouragement and reassurance and helped me to learn to laugh and enjoy myself and my family again. I hope that when my son is older I will be able to become a volunteer myself so that I can help others through their time of need.”
Just £50 trains a Home-Start volunteer to support a family like Beth’s. Thanks to micro-donations made through Pennies on the Monarch Airlines website, customers have raised over £13,000 in support of the charity so far, and extraordinary achievement and enough to train hundreds of Home-Start volunteers.
Each donation made through Monarch’s website is just 50p and benefits The Monarch Foundation’s five current charity partners, including Home-Start UK.