Keeping it in the family for 30 years!
Hi I’m Alex (left in photo) and I have been involved with Home-Start Bristol, in one way or another, since I was 10 years old!
My Mum (pictured) volunteered for HSB back in the 1980’s and I use to quite often accompany her on visits (you could do that in those days!) I loved spending time with small children and even back then could see the difference our visit made to the family.
When my youngest started pre-school and I finally had some time to myself (albeit only 2½ hours) the first thing I did was make contact with HSB and apply to become a volunteer! After attending, the then 10 week course of preparation (one ‘school day’ per week) I went on to support numerous families with pre-school children struggling for a variety of reasons – multiple birth, postnatal depression, bereavement to mention just a few.
A couple of years later (and once my youngest had started school) a ‘paid job’ came up at HSB for an Office Administrator. I had always been very organised and loved people and paperwork so thought it would be the ideal job for me (plus I was by now extremely dedicated to the work HSB carried out with struggling families in Bristol and South Gloucestershire) so I applied, I got the job and loved it!
Some years later the role of Coordinator became available and what with my in depth knowledge of the charity and how it worked – once again I am pleased to say that I got the job. I often refer to it as my ‘dream job.’ I love the fact that it has so many sides to it – recruiting and training volunteers, visiting families, networking, supervising volunteers and I still keep a ‘foot in the door’ with the administration but mostly finance these days.
I have certainly ‘kept it in the family’ as my sister Phyllida is the ‘Lead for Family Support Services’ at Filton Avenue Children’s Centre and we quite often find ourselves working together in partnership as the Children Centre often refer families to us for support.