Gete’s Volunteer Journey

Hear about Gete's volunteer journeyMy background is in social care working with mental health services; I found out about Home-Start from my local job centre and I am a returning volunteer after a couple of years break. I decided to volunteer for Home -Start because I believed that I could help and support those who are in need using my professional background and experience.

I am a mother who brought up a daughter as a lone parent and managed to support her through her challenging university years. During my early years in the UK, I had overcome challenges such as feeling isolated, language barriers, the deterring effect of culture clashes and a lot more.  One of the reasons that I chose to volunteer with Home Start is to support lone parents using my own personal experience. The second reason is to share my skills as a special needs worker.

In the preparation course training, I admired the skills of the Home-Start staff in handling the volunteer discussions which enhanced my professional development. I’ve also received support from Home-Start through supervision and relevant trainings they provide throughout the year which continued during Lockdown.

I find the volunteering experience rewarding and believe that Home-Start service is very essential. The support that Home-Start provides in a less formal manner is ideal service for those who are reluctant to engage with formal services for various reasons, especially for families that lack trust or confidence in them.

I am currently supporting two families from different backgrounds to mine and did so through the Coronavirus pandemic remotely. This has developed me personally as I have never imagined myself to use my own phone for volunteering reasons.  Initially, I found it challenging as opposed to face-to-face working and it took some time to establish a good relationship and to find a topic of discussion to create meaningful conversation. This has now been improved and a smooth weekly dialogue is happening. From my side, I looked forward to making the weekly call and my calls are always answered. When my call is not answered I always get a call back or a text to explain why wasn’t.

The general experience has taught me that consistency and a positive stride play a major part in trying to overcome challenges. As for now, I will continue to volunteer with Home-Start, and I will also see if I could support more families soon.

To find out more about how you could volunteer, click here.