Lisa is mum to three children; her daughter Elliah, three, is her youngest. She has had difficulties with drugs and alcohol in the past, and felt that this had stopped her being the best parent that she could be to her two older children. Knowing she had made mistakes, she wanted to move on.  And she knew she would need help along the way. She had been brought up in care and had no family to turn to, so she came to Home-Start.

To begin with Lisa was matched with a volunteer called Helen who became an important figure in Lisa's life; almost the mother that Lisa had never had. The simplest things Helen did made a difference: she began to show Lisa how to cook meals, even going round to the family's home on Christmas day to help prepare the lunch.  Being brought up in care meant Lisa had never been shown how to cook - meals had just 'appeared' on the table in her own childhood. 

Sadly Lisa was re-housed, and Helen was no longer able to visit her. So she began to attend a Home-Start family support group. There she made new friendships with other parents and Elliah was able to play, have fun and learn to share with other children.

Then Lisa was matched to her second volunteer, another Lisa. They were a similar age and formed a close bond, with Lisa the volunteer being able to offer Lisa the mum emotional support; helping her to work through her lifestyle and health issues. Lisa is no longer using alcohol as a way of coping. And she is now much more confident and able to cope with everyday situations.

Lisa has come a long way since arriving at Home-Start's door.  Not only has she grown in confidence - enough to speak at her local Home-Start's annual general meeting - but she has taken an active role in the family group, encouraging other parents to join in.

When Elliah starts school, Lisa is hoping to become a Home-Start volunteer. She says:

I want to give something back to a charity that has helped me turn my life around. 

If you want to find out about help for your own family, please contact your local Home-Start to see if they have a volunteer available in your area.

Please support Home-Start so that we can continue to support more families like Lisa's.  If you can't donate, then please think about volunteering - your time helps as much as your money. You could change a family's life.