Mum shares benefits of volunteering

Sarah Sales in encouraging people to volunteer for Home Start after she started a new career as a result of volunteering as a home visitor - picture submitted

Sarah Sales in encouraging people to volunteer for Home Start after she started a new career as a result of volunteering as a home visitor - picture submitted

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A Crawley mum has told of how giving support to young families struggling to cope has helped changed her life too.

On a visit to her supermarket two years ago, Sarah Sale saw a poster which was to help lead her life in a new direction.

Home-Start Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex (CHAMS) were advertising their training course to become a family support volunteer and it came at just the right time for Sarah.

As a mum of twins herself, she knew how hard it can be to cope with young children and understood the need for the charity’s help.

She said: “I was thinking about getting back to work after having my children and I was interested in working with families, but wasn’t sure how exactly. Plus, the training seemed to offer a good way to develop new skills and it would fit around my children. So I got in touch with the Home-Start office.”

Sarah’s training built on the skills she already had as a parent and helped give her the knowledge and confidence to take on the role.

She helped four families during her time with Home-Start, giving practical and emotional support during regular weekly visits.

“I’d done office work before, so my comfort zone was really pushed sometimes, but it showed me I can cope with more than I realised.

“Right from the start, there was support in place for me and I was able to receive a good mix of further training too, covering things like First Aid, Autism Awareness and Business Admin,” she continued.

Sarah enjoyed making a difference to others and her time volunteering led to changes for her too.

She said: “I was able to get a job with West Sussex Probation service, who said my experiences with Home-Start made me an ideal candidate for the role. Volunteering gave me the confidence to get back into work and being able to put the work and training I’d done on my CV really helped with my job search. I would definitely recommend volunteering with Home-Start to anyone.”

Home-Start CHAMS is holding a training course for home-visiting volunteers starting on January 26. Find out more at www.homestartchams.org.uk/volunteering or call 01293 416327.