Without Home-Start and without Val, I don't think I would be here anymore, I would have quit.

"Originally from Leicester, I moved to Buckinghamshire when I got married, but then my husband was relocated with work and we had to move to Birmingham. I had to move to a big city where I knew no one. I had no family or friends near me, just plenty of feelings of despair, loneliness and isolation.

"I have always suffered from severe anxiety and long term depression - made a hundred times worse by my doubts that I could be a good mum. Having children just escalated my feelings of low self worth and I was on a downward spiral.

"A toddler and twins just made it so impossible to get out of the front door, in a strange city where I had no one to turn to.

"Isolation and loneliness are just about the worst feelings, I was a scared to leave the house, I had a Community Psychiatric Nurse, but it wasn’t his job to be there for me emotionally.

"But my life changed when I was referred to Home-Start. I was matched to a volunteer called Val. And over the last two years, she has proved to be my lifeline, my link to the outside world.

"Many people might find this strange, but just walking down the street was a massive thing to me. Having Val, walking alongside me gave me that confidence as a parent to get my children out of the house and in to the world. I felt so alone, all I had was Val.

"One of the first things that she helped with was taking my twins to play group. She gave me the time I needed to adjust and be comfortable in new surroundings. She gave me ‘time out’ allowing me to get to grips with being ‘out there’ in the world.

"As time went on and Val was there to reassure me, to tell me that I was doing a good job, I became more confident; I could leave the house, go to the library, for a walk, and I just knew that Val was there with me.  By not judging me, my confidence began to grow. I felt that I was worth worrying about, that I too was important enough to care about, that I deserved some help. This was all because Home-Start was there for me, taking time to listen to me. 

"I suppose it’s restored my faith in humans. There are people out there like Val and organisations like Home-Start who genuinely care about people."

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 Nabilah'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.