Home-Start has 14,808 home-visiting volunteers who give over one million hours every year to support 29,170 families and 63,308 children.

This Volunteers’ Week we asked people on our Facebook page to share some of their favourite memories of their work with families. We received some wonderful contributions and stories from our volunteers.

My volunteer was amazingShurrelle explained how she first got involved with Home-Start. “I came into the organisation from an advert I had seen a few years ago, and thought ‘that's fantastic’. I had time out from work and thought I could give back to help other families that may need that hug or helping hand!”

“My best moment, for Home-Start Lincoln, has happened just today,” wrote Janet. “I went on my weekly visit to the family.... on holiday in a caravan by the sea. They had been offered the holiday free and all four, mum and three children, were apprehensive, whilst excited. I managed to persuade a very reluctant mum and her extremely reluctant eight year old son into the swimming pool. All five of us had a great time, and it was lovely to see the smile of ‘I've done it’ on the faces of mum and son. Very rewarding work.”

For many volunteers their favourite memories centred on the children in the families they supported.

Kristen told us, “I think my favourite volunteer moment was helping the toddler twins I was supporting to put on their wellies and jump in piles of wet autumn leaves. The next time I arrived to spend time with them, they shouted, "Kristen, leaves, Kristen, leaves!" It was our tradition all the weeks that autumn lasted that year. Just a little boost to enjoy life!”

In a poll for our website almost half of our volunteers said they
began working with us because they wanted to work with families.

We didn’t just have memories from volunteers. Several families wanted to give their thanks to the volunteers who had helped them.

“We are still in contact with our volunteer, it’s been nine years,” wrote Sue. “She is a fantastic person. My son goes to hers every Saturday still. I get girl time with my twin girls. Well done everyone who helps Home-Start as a volunteer and all the people who donate. It is amazing work. Long may it continue to grow. Xx”

“My volunteer, Lynn, was amazing,” wrote Amy. “She really helped me get back on my feet and supported my husband whilst he was supporting me.”

Well done everyone who helps Home-StartIt’s unlikely we have any volunteers who are more experienced than Edna, who said “The difference a volunteer makes to the family has to be seen to appreciate it. I am now 80 and have been volunteering for 15 years - hope to continue”.

We wanted to finish with Carolyn who looks back on her time volunteering with the same family two and a half years.

“I've just had my last visit with my first family, who I've been visiting since February 2013,” she writes. “I had no idea what to expect when I first started volunteering and the thank you I received today made me realise how much we have shared in the experience together. My happiest memory from it, walking through that front door and meeting them for the first time.....so glad I made the decision to become a volunteer, I have a lot to look back on!”

Thank you to everyone who shared their memories and experiences with us.

It costs Home-Start just £22 a week to support a family with a volunteer to transform their live. If you can help Home-Start UK to support 29,170 families and 63,308 children, please click here to make a donation. Thank you.