"Home-Start not only helps families with young children, it also helps the volunteers in many, many ways too".

Sue had resigned herself to the fact that her son did not want children, which meant that she would never be a grandparent, "I just accepted it." she said. "I adore children though and dreamed of having lots of grandchildren. But life doesn't always give you what you want."

All that changed when a Home-Start leaflet dropped through Sue's door. She decided to sign up for the training course and before she knew it she was busy supporting families with young children.

"The support that Home-Start offers its volunteers after the training course is brilliant," says Sue, "and the ongoing training means that there is always something new to learn. It also helps in my personal life. I lost confidence after I had to give up work because of ill health and although I now have a certain amount of control on my condition, without Home-Start I would never have got my confidence back."

Sue offers practical and emotional support to her families and really enjoys the time that she spends on home visits. She says: "I sometimes get mothers with low self-esteem and depression who don't know how to play with their children, so I take on a grandmother's role. I read them stories, run around the garden and play mad games with them. I care about them the same way I would have done my own."

Home-Start has also helped Sue in her local community: "The mothers are so appreciative, they make you feel you can help anyone. The training has also aided my knowledge of how to handle people, as I have helped my elderly neighbours sort out a problem with some young boys who were using their garden as a playground. I could not have done this without Home-Start's training and character building."

Sue says that the most touching moments with her 'grandchildren' are when they are waiting impatiently for her to arrive and they run up to her and throw their arms around her neck: "When I leave, they sometimes cry, so I know they care. It doesn't matter that I don't have blood-related grandchildren, I've not missed out as being a 'grandma' to these children gives me so much pleasure. Home-Start not only helps families with young children, it also helps the volunteers in many, many ways too."

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