Sarah’s story

I was referred to Home-Start by my community mental health care coordinator after my discharge from hospital and fleeing domestic violence. Emotionally I was shattered, my confidence, self-esteem and self-worth were all gone. Things I enjoyed doing before became a struggle, like looking after my boys, getting out of the house and doing little house chores was so difficult for me at this time. Financially, I had nothing but the little support I was getting from the social service. At this time, I had no recourse to public funds and as such I couldn’t access any form of social benefit. This on its own alone was worrisome and depressing.

In addition to the above mentioned challenges, was being a single parent to a toddler and a one-year-old child. The future for me at the point was so bleak.  I never saw any reason to look forward to the future.  I remember the first time my volunteer came to see us, the kind of joy they brought to my boys, by just chatting and playing with them. It made a great difference in their behaviour and they always looked forward to the visits.

My Volunteer started taking us to play group which was one of the things I and the boys enjoyed doing before I took ill. I gradually started regaining my confidence back. The emotional support was superb.  Things like ‘well done’ ‘you are doing well with the boys and you are a good mum’ helped me so much, because I have been told before now, by husband that I wasn’t a good mum and I believed him. With all this support my anxiety started reducing and my mood started stabilising and this was how my recovery started.

I am now a volunteer for Home-Start as a “Thank you” for all they did for me and also to support other mums who might be going through the same challenges I have gone through. Please support their campaign so that you can help other mums just like me.