News Family Matters magazine Welcome to Family Matters The introduction to the Summer 2021 edition of Family Matters has been written by Amy, a single mum, supported by Home-Start. When I was asked if I’d like to write the welcome to Family Matters, for just a split second I felt anxious. It reminded me of the old days when my confidence was on the floor. But when I started to jot down some thoughts I realised how far I’ve come. And how important Home-Start has been in helping me to rebuild my life. Home-Start helped my family and gave us the ability to move on from the violence that had dominated so much of my life. Two years ago I was broken. My partner abused me in every way possible – mentally, financially, physically and emotionally. I didn’t have the strength to leave until one day, when I was feeding my two month old baby, my partner tried to strangle me. Suddenly it was no longer just about me, but it was about my two little children who depend on me to provide a safe home. I moved into a women’s refuge where I lived for 11 months. When I was discharged I was allocated a home, but I found it hard to function. I felt paralysed by anxiety and had no confidence in myself as a mum. I took care of my children’s basic needs, but that was about it. We had no routine and hours would pass without us actually doing anything. I struggled with their behaviour and every day ended in tears. With the gentle support and encouragement from Home-Start, I felt my confidence returning. During lockdown they were there for me, helping to combat the isolation I felt. They offered me a place on an online programme to help my parenting skills and with each session I felt more able to establish daily routines. As I learned how to talk to my children more calmly, the shouting and tears stopped. With the help of Home-Start I was finally able to take control and, by doing so, make my two little boys so much happier. There’s really no part of my life that Home-Start hasn’t touched. They’ve helped me be a better parent, they’ve helped me build a safe home, and they’ve helped me get my life back under control. Without Home-Start, my life would have been in chaos, but with Home-Start, I’ve been enabled to create a healthy, happy and safe home for my children. And if you've supported Home-Start, then you've helped me too. Thank you. I hope you enjoy reading this edition of Family Matters and seeing all the wonderful support you are giving to families like mine". Amy* Mum of two very happy little boys. *to protect her identity, we are unable to show Amy's face Find out how Home-Start can support you. Read Next - Family Matters: Home-Start stopped our lives falling apart Subscribe to 'Family Matters' magazine to get your copy FREE in the post.