At rock bottom Rosie’s children’s lives were awful. They were living in hiding with their mother after 20 years of domestic violence at the hands of her partner. In a ‘safe house’ behind permanently closed curtains; not playing with any friends; barely speaking to each other; under threat of exclusion from school and on some occasions, self harming. There were five of them: two teenage daughters, sons aged eight and three, and baby girl of nine months.

In 2011 they were referred to Home-Start. Their volunteer, Wayne, came every week and helped them do ‘normal’ things, like watching TV or playing computer games together. These tiny things made an enormous difference.

Rosie said, “My house started turning into a home. Having a male volunteer has taught my girls they do not need to be scared of men. Wayne showed me that it’s OK to let the children outside; that it is safe. Other children come and knock on the door to ask mine out to play. And I let them go! There is nothing like Home-Start; with no judgment and no scrutiny. Having Wayne here has stopped the kids being victims and given us so much positivity.”

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