Covid 19 didn’t stop us when this family with complex issues including post-natal depression and domestic violence desperately needed extra support

The family were referred to Home-Start by a PNMH nurse as mum was suffering with post-natal depression and has an unstable relationship with the children’s father with domestic violence present. Mum has moved from another city and is isolated with both children at home. Mum was living in private rented accommodation, however, could not afford to keep paying this so was re-housed under the council. Upon referral mum was supported by a Home-Start co-ordinator by twice weekly telephone calls until a suitable volunteer became available.  The family were provided with a fridge freezer through the Children in Need Emergency Essentials programme applied for by our co-ordinator along with a food parcel obtained via the Covid-19 welfare line.  

A volunteer was matched to the family in September 2020 during the COVID-19 restrictions and the volunteer provided telephone support to mum who was still struggling emotionally. The volunteer called twice per week initially and this went well. Mum always answered the phone to the volunteer and spent around half an hour on each phone call.  In October when some restrictions were lifted the volunteer started doorstep visiting or going for a short walk with the children. Due to the unpredictable weather mum and the volunteer decided each week whether it would be a doorstep visit or a phone call. Mums’ mental health and confidence improved slightly over this time. However, there was still issues with the children’s father and he would often stay over to look after the children which had an impact on mum’s mental health. 

A review was completed in June with the co-ordinator and the volunteer present, and all areas had improved for mum. Her mental health is more stable, and she is considering therapy. She feels more confident which has enabled her to meet a friend once a week. The volunteer still visits each week, and they usually stay in the garden or go to the park.  

Quote from Mum

“My volunteer always comes when she says she will, she has such a positive energy and really motivates me” 

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