Last month, we had the pleasure of sitting down with one of our remarkable volunteers, Claire Field, who has been an integral part of Home-Start South Warwickshire (HSSW) since 2020. Claire, a seasoned educator with a passion for supporting children's development, has played a pivotal role in the lives of three families and currently leads the postnatal group in Lillington.
Why Home-Start South Warwickshire?
When asked about her decision to volunteer with us, Claire explained, "I had a gap in my employment and didn't want to jump into a job immediately. I stumbled across HSSW and, with my teaching experience and desire to support children, I felt it would be a perfect fit. I had the time and the urge to give back."
Supporting Families One-on-One
Claire's journey with Home-Start South Warwickshire began with supporting three families on a one-to-one basis. Her first family faced complex challenges involving the police and social services. Claire provided assistance with routines, encouraged quality time with the children, helped create a comfortable space for the youngest, and assisted with various household tasks. In subsequent roles, she learned to empower families, model play, and act as an advocate for their needs.
Personal Growth through Volunteering
Volunteering has been a journey of self-discovery for Claire. As a natural 'doer,' she found it challenging initially to shift from doing things for families to doing things with them. "I've realised that I've done a good job as a Mum, and being able to offer that support to another Mum is really worthwhile," she acknowledged.
When asked about advice for fellow volunteers, Claire emphasised the inevitability of emotional attachment but stressed the importance of maintaining boundaries.
"Empowering families is more beneficial than doing things for them,"
she wisely advised.
The Rewards of Giving Back
The most rewarding aspect of Claire's volunteering journey? "Just getting a 'thank you' from the family and hearing them say how Home Start has helped them. The last Mum I supported told me “you are the best Mum I've ever had.'"
Stepping Back with Purpose
Last year, Claire made the decision to step back from one-on-one support to prioritise her own family. However, her commitment to Home-Start South Warwickshire remained unwavering. She now volunteers at the new postnatal group in Lillington, revelling in the joy of cuddling babies and witnessing the formation of meaningful connections among the mothers.
As Claire puts it,
"It's about building a network so they can meet up outside of the group, that's what it's all about."
Claire's story exemplifies the transformative power of volunteering. If you're inspired by her journey and want to make a difference in the lives of families, consider joining our dedicated team at Home-Start South Warwickshire.
Together, we can create a supportive community where everyone thrives. Become a volunteer today and be a part of something truly meaningful.
Visit our website and get in touch today to start your own volunteering journey. www.homestartsouthwarickshire.org.uk/volunteer