Home-Start is a community-based support program available to parents with children under the age of eight who live in the Yarra Ranges.
The program aims to connect families to support networks and help parents build stronger relationships with their children.
Home-Start Coordinator, Freya Dugan believes a service such as this provides great support to families who might be facing issues at home or may just need a helping hand. Support is tailored to the family’s needs.
“All parents need support at some time with the challenging job of caring for their children”, said Ms Dugan.
"With more families requiring assistance, we need more volunteers in the program. Volunteers can help with attending appointments, shopping, reading to children and helping connect families to local support networks such as playgroups and kindergartens,” said Ms Dugan.
Volunteer Judy joined the program nearly a year ago. Recently retired from fulltime work, Judy wanted to meet new people in the area and get involved with her community.
Judy heard about Home-Start through a friend and wanted to learn more. After attending an information session, she joined the eight week training program and has since been placed with a local family.
“I have really enjoyed the training and getting to know the other volunteers. I have made new friends and learned about the struggles some families can face,” said Judy.
“I understand from having my own children and grandchildren, lack of support, sleep deprivation and isolation can make parenting very difficult and I just wanted to be there as a support unit for other mums.
“I like to bring joy to the household and remind the family, it doesn’t need to all be troubles. I am someone to talk to and a listening ear. I believe I am more than a volunteer, I am a friend,” said Judy.
Home-Start volunteers are linked to families on a one-to-one basis and are required to spend two hours a week with the families for a 12 month period.
To find out more, attend a free information session:
Wednesday 10 February, 10:00am-11:00am,
Upper Yarra Family Centre,
2444 Warburton Hwy, Yarra Junction