With well over a thousand people currently volunteering as trustees for the 189 Home-Starts around the UK, we are grateful for the time and commitment that they give to guiding and governing the charity.

One recent trustee appointment is Raj, his childhood experience of his family receiving support from a Home-Start volunteer led him to become a trustee for Home-Start Exeter, East and Mid Devon.

Raj said:Joining Home-Start as a Trustee last year prompted me to reflect on my early childhood and the privilege of growing up with the support of Paula, our Home-Start volunteer.

Paula’s weekly visits always generated a sense of excitement. She was a motherly figure to us and supportive in every possible way. She helped us to be creative, curious and inspired us to enjoy learning.

It’s hard to imagine what our childhood would have been without this amazing lady in our lives.

As we grew older and were no longer formally supported by Home-Start, we stayed in close contact with Paula. When I was age 11, Paula gave me a photo album that captured my early years. Looking through this album, I felt a strong sense of gratitude. Before me I saw how Paula enriched our childhood. With Paula we were able to see, learn and do much more.

Paula was special to us. Having had so much support growing up and being an empathic person myself, I understand the importance of children growing up in a supportive environment. I wanted to become a trustee to have a positive impact on families, whilst supporting my development personally and professionally.

Being part of the Trustee Board has given me the opportunity to learn from and be mentored by experienced professionals. I have a very supportive and committed team around me. I’m aware I need to earn my stripes by continuing to learn and contribute to the team.

Recently we’ve had development days, where we spent time as a team evaluating how we operate, ensuring we align with our objectives and refresh our goals to fulfil our potential. Those days have been a great opportunity for me to listen and learn. 

I wanted to become a trustee to have a positive impact on families and also support my professional development.

Following the development days, we’ve set-up working groups across the Board each having an area that we are responsible for. I personally know the impact Home-Start has on families and I look forward to the days ahead as a trustee with Home-Start Exeter, East and Mid-Devon.”

Read Raj's sister Sharena’s story on how their volunteer inspired her love of learning.

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Register to become a trustee or volunteer at Home-Start UK