Mum’s mental health needs were impacting the family, practical and emotional support helped both mum and dad as they struggled with managing their home

The family (Mum, Dad, 2 children) were referred to Home-Start Leeds by a Stronger Families’ key worker due to the impact of the mum’s mental health needs.  

The Home-Start co-ordinator made an initial visit, when both parents were at home, and talked through how Home-Start could help.

In the first visit Mum shared a lot about the effects of her eating disorder, that she was taking medication for depression and had suffered post-natal depression after her children were born. She also talked about her struggle with managing the home and how she “just didn’t know where to start” to make things better.

The family were keen to accept the support that we could offer and whilst waiting for a suitable ‘volunteer match’ to happen the coordinator kept in regular contact with the family and offered emotional support.

When a volunteer was matched to the family, they provided support by way of:

  • Visiting the family regularly, at least once to week to build a trusting relationship and offer emotional support and friendship. 
  • Supporting Mum and Dad to report repairs needed within their rented home. 
  • Collecting and completing the appropriate documents/forms needed to improve the Family’s position on the housing priority list.
  • Improving home conditions by giving some practical advice/help with de-cluttering and taking items to charity shops.
  • Contacted a local charity to arrange to pick up bulky/large items of unwanted household goods/clothing. 

Mum has found “de-cluttering” the house quite difficult and the volunteer has given lots of emotional support, encouragement and praise.

Dad has just recently started work and the family have now been taken off the Stronger Families programme which means that they don’t get support any more.  However, we at Home Start are still continuing to support the family and are pleased at how the family are starting to grow in confidence and that the services we provide, no matter how small, do make a positive contribution for families.  

Feedback from mum about the volunteer’s support

“I can’t describe what she means to me, she’s brilliant”

“I will continue to do the work we started together, improving home conditions and putting items away”

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