A few weeks ago, I wrote about all the (many) things I’m thankful for, but obviously not everyone is as lucky as us. I recently found out about a charity called Home-Start, and their mission really speaks to me:
“Home-Start helps families with young children deal with whatever life throws at them. We support parents as they learn to cope, improve their confidence and build better lives for their children. The benefits of our support include improved health and well being and better family relationships.”
As a mum myself, I know how difficult it can be to be responsible for the wellbeing and happiness of a tiny new human. I really relied on Ryan, my family and friends to help when I couldn’t cope. And let’s face it, we all go through those times when we just don’t know what we’re doing, or what to do next. When the kids are ill, when you’re ill, when you haven’t been able to get any sleep, when they won’t eat, when their eczema is causing them a lot of pain, and even when they are having an epic tantrum… the list goes on!
For me, not being able to breastfeed was a very real, and very all-consuming problem, and then there was the resulting illness I suffered when I persevered. I really don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t had people to support me.
Not everyone has a support network. They might not have a grandparent who can drop everything and come and help, or give you advice. They might have relationship problems, or money problems, or health issues, or bereavement to deal with. That’s where Home-Start comes in. You can read more about them on their website, but essentially their volunteers visit a family’s home for a few hours a week, offering support, until the youngest child is five, or until the parents feel they can cope on their own.
“They work alongside parents, in their own homes, to help them cope with the stresses and strains of life and make sure they have the skills, time and strength they need to nurture their children.”
Home-Start are running a Snowflake Appeal at the moment and have some lovely snowflake-themed goodies on sale, and I bought some beautiful pearlised cardboard bunting, for £4.99 which I have put on my mantlepiece.
I also bought some snowflake Christmas cards for £4, which the girls can colour in. I thought they would also look lovely if I cut out them out with a scalpel, but I’m not sure I’ll have time for that!
There are lots of lovely ornaments and other goodies for sale on their website, from nail stickers to Christmas tree decorations, with all proceeds going to help young families who are struggling. There could be the perfect stocking filler or secret Santa gift waiting for you!
If you’re feeling crafty, you can also request a free crochet snowflake kit, (you just pay £1.50 for postage) so you can make a snowflake to sell to raise funds, or send it to the charity to send on to their families over Christmas. I had a go at crochet a few years ago and loved it, but have forgotten it all now, so I am going to get a kit, which apparently is suitable for beginners like me.
I went to the Handmade Christmas Fair up in Manchester a few weeks back, and Home-Start were displaying the lovely crochet snowflakes that have already been sent to them, don’t they look wonderful? This is just a few of them: there were hundreds or maybe even thousands. I won’t get mine done in time to send it in, but hopefully it will be good enough to persuade someone to buy it (even if it’s just Ryan!)