Catherine Pymar is the manager of Home-Start Camden, and writes about supporting families in one of the most diverse communities in the UK.

"One of the best things about working in Camden is the people. There are over 130 different languages spoken in Camden schools, people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds live side-by-side and I am very proud to be managing a Home-Start where the staff, volunteers and families are representative of the local area.

The volunteer training is a really unifying experience for all those involved. Parents from the community come together to share their skills and knowledge of parenting.

Parenting is universal not bound by income, ethnicity, gender or disability; everyone is there because they have experience of parenting and they want to share that experience. The training room is incredibly diverse, with people bringing different knowledge, skills and expertise to the group, but they all have one collective aim, to support another family.

Families are referred to Home-Start Camden for a range of reasons. Many are isolated, have experienced domestic violence, have post-natal depression, physical or other mental health conditions. Some are referred due to multiple births and many are living in unsuitable or temporary accommodation.

Although poverty or low income are a reality for many families, loneliness, post-natal depression and domestic violence can impact families regardless of wealth, ethnicity or age. Isolation, depression and violence do not discriminate.

Our oldest volunteer is in her 80s and our youngest in her early 20s. We support teenage mothers and mothers in their 50’s. We work with families and volunteers with little formal education and those with master’s degrees. We have families and volunteers from all over the world and support people with a range of physical and mental health conditions and learning difficulties.

Camden’s community is what makes Camden so special, and it is a pleasure to be supporting the diverse population of the borough to come together and support one another."

Listen to our latest podcast with Naiomi, who is in her 20s and Juliette who is in her 80s, talk about the families they support and the training they received: