The following story is a true story of how Home-Start Caithness helped a family in need.
The names of the family have been changed in order to protect their identity.
Emma was referred to Home-Start Caithness by her Health Visitor following a serious fall that resulted in Emma breaking her arm. With additional, severe health problems, family who lived several hundred miles away and a lively two year old daughter, Emma was struggling to manage day-to-day tasks such as dressing her daughter, changing nappies, pushing the buggy, doing the shopping—things that many people take for granted!
Emma: There was nothing that she wouldn't do—she was wonderful! She took Sarah (my daughter) and I out to the shops, to the doctors, helped hang the washing out and put the shopping away, player with Sarah, chatted with me, took us to our regular Mother and Toddler Group—all the things that I couldn't do, my volunteer helped me out with. I could have ended up very stressed and isolated, as I could not physically manage to get out of the house, but instead my burden was eased and I made a good friend!
Emma: I didn't have much choice! I really needed someone to help me and when my Health Visitor mentioned Home-Start and how they could place a volunteer with me to help me out during this crisis, I decided to try it and see what it was like. I was particularly concerned
about everything remaining confidential, as Caithness is a small county and word soon spreads. However, I totally trusted Home-Start and my volunteer and knew that they weren't talking about me behind my back—they were just there to help me in my time of need.
Emma: Absolutely! They were brilliant – they didn't try and take over my life – they were respectful and empowering. Having my needs assessed helped me to evaluate my life – to see where I was struggling and to see what I could do to make things easier. It helped me to be a better parent as I didn't have to pretend that everything was okay. I would be very keen to have my volunteer back again, as she was so helpful and we got on so well. I can't speak more highly off her. Home-Start got me and my family through a very difficult time in our lives - I am so glad that they were there.