Make 2018 your most amazing year yet

November 24 2017

At this time of year, we start to think about our New Year resolutions. It’s often something personal, like kicking a bad habit, or vowing to see someone more often. But will you do something truly amazing this year, and make 2018 a year to be proud of?

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At this time of year, we start to think about our New Year resolutions. It’s often something personal, like kicking a bad habit, or vowing to see someone more often. But will you do something truly amazing this year, and make 2018 a year to be proud of?

Home Start Bristol is a local charity, recruiting and training volunteers to support struggling families in the Bristol, and South Gloucestershire area. The charity runs three popular volunteer preparation courses each year: the next one starting on January 18. The training is interactive and fun, and many volunteers go on to achieve a CERTA Level 2 qualification. Upon completion of the course, volunteers are carefully matched with a family that they are expected to visit for two-three hours each week. 

Scheme manager, Beverley Symonds, says: “We work alongside families, encouraging them and helping them to build confidence. This type of support benefits both children and parents, increasing their sense of wellbeing and ability to manage.”

Of 182 Bristol families supported over 94% felt better able to cope as a result of this support. One parent explained: “The help from my volunteer was great because it provided a different perspective – motherly advice and non-judgmental. It helped me to find my own voice.” 

It’s a simple, but effective approach – volunteers are parents, or grandparents, themselves, and understand the challenges of family life. 

Beverley Symonds added: “Many charities say they depend on volunteers, but in our case, volunteers really are the lifeblood of what we do. 2017 has been a good year, with 107 families supported since April and we’ve trained over 40 volunteers. But more and more families are being referred to us and we are always looking for new volunteers to join us.”

Volunteering is perfect for parents and grandparents and courses are planned around school terms and timings. The next course is based in Lockleaze and will run every week from 18 January, for nine weeks from 10am-2pm. 

If you would like to find out more about the charity, make a donation or become a Home-Start Bristol volunteer, visit the website: www.homestartbristol.org.uk or phone 0117 950 1170.