As we come to the end of an exciting year where we were joined by two new members of staff and one of our senior co coordinators went on maternity leave and had a lovely baby girl. Anne Heath received an award for being a volunteer with us for 10 years and we can celebrate what she contributed to the community through Home-Start Westminster. There is much to rejoice over. I am however aware of the growing number of families who have just found their feet only to have the rug pulled from underneath them. A quote comes to mind.

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”Franklin D. Roosevelt

Home-Start Westminster has many supporters who help us provide some fun for those families reeling from all the cuts they are adjusting their lives to. There is Brown Forman, who organised an amazing outing to London Zoo in the summer. Something our families can’t afford. They are also as I speak very busy organising our end of year party, which they did with great success last year as well. Some of our families have been invited to a wonderful Christmas show Performed by Magical Quests on behalf of the Woolf Charitable Trust.

As we meet our unique families and as we introduce them to one of our amazing volunteers I can’t help thinking about how families are written about and maligned in the wider world at the moment. I see this as projection on our part. Projection is a form of defense in which unwanted feelings are displaced onto another person, where they then appear as a threat from the external world. So when you read about scroungers, what is it that we as society can’t tolerate in ourselves? When we talk about the undeserving poor, what is it in ourselves that we can’t stand? Is it the poverty in ourselves that we reject and place on the shoulder of those who are fighting to keep their lives together and provide good enough parenting and all that entails, for their children? If you make friends with that part of you, you unconsciously reject, it can be so liberating. Give generously if you can, but give something more valuable, the gift of time, something of yourself. Our fellow travellers need somebody to listen to their stories, to really see them, not judge them, to walk with them, to be a shoulder to cry on. We at Home-Start Westminster know that we don’t do things for families, we just do things with them and it is not what we do, but it is how we do it. Our volunteers are unpaid – not because they are not worth it, but because they are priceless. Everyone in Home-Start Westminster knows that you can’t put a price on the rewards you get from being part of a families journey of change. Love and care for your neighbor they are you. There is no them, just aspects of ourselves. Make a New Year’s Revolution – Love your Facets.

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