Driven by a desire to help people in his area, Theatre Technical Manager, David Warwick signed up to become a Home-Start volunteer. He loves the feeling of being able to give back and would encourage anyone to get involved.

David told us:

"I felt like my life was all work, coming home and resting, then back to work again. I wanted to do something different with my spare time and something totally different to theatre. I had this really strong urge to do more and to help others so my wife and I looked at what was available in the area around Plumstead and found Home-Start.

I did the training course with Home-Start Greenwich and was matched with my first family in Autumn 2018".

Two sets of twins

"The first couple I supported had two sets of twins age 4 and 18 months and both parents were working.

The family were in a routine but it was hard for them to spend special one to one time with each child. Having me there as a volunteer gave them the opportunity to do that.

My role was to help them focus on the twins one at a time. They were struggling with focused play so during one visit, I played with an older twin while mum played with the younger one. This alternated between the sets of twins each week in order for the mum to have that important individual time.

We regularly took the younger twins to the leisure centre which has a play area, library, and leisure area. The mum would take one of the younger twins swimming whilst I spent time with the other. Sometimes we went to the park to play as it gave a chance for the mother to have focused play time with one of the children in a different environment".

Home-Start helps many families with twins, triplets and multiple children.

Refugee from Africa

"In July 2021 I was matched with a mum who is a refugee from Africa. She had to flee her country as her husband had been jailed by their government. Whilst making her way to the UK, her two teenage daughters were separated from her and lost en-route. She still doesn’t know where they are. The Red Cross have tried to find her two older daughters on her behalf but without success as yet.

This mother arrived in the UK with two children under the age of three during the pandemic so was totally isolated. She was allocated a bedsit with her two younger children – an 8-month-old baby and 2-year-old toddler. This woman is incredibly brave and courageous; and she takes every day as it comes.

My role was to help her fill in paperwork, encourage her to come out to the local park, and help her enrol her children into a local nursery. She has friends in Leicester and Leeds and is training for work in order to move to an area where she has support from a friendship group."

Children's group

"I'm now helping out at the Home-Start local children’s centre 'Together With Twos' nursery group for two year olds on Friday mornings."

David concludes: "Helping people gives me a great feeling of giving back. It’s nice knowing that what you are doing can make an important difference for ‘my’ families. I’m sure it won’t be for quite a while yet, if ever, that I will know the impact and difference I helped to make in their lives".

David's advice to others

"Home-Start offers a range of volunteering opportunities and activities. It is not all home visiting with families. There are also opportunities for more back room support as well such as office roles, admin, fund raising, or being a trustee for example. If supporting a family feels too big a commitment then there are lots of other ways to get involved".

Find out how you can become a Home-Start Volunteer

Read more 'family voices'