Mum of three, Irem Ahmed is one of our ‘multi-volunteers’, who volunteers for two of our projects: Home-Start Better Start and the Perinatal Support Service. Here, Irem shares why she finds volunteering so rewarding.
I was on a Home-Start preparation course for family support volunteers, when I noticed a leaflet for perinatal support worker volunteers and decided to give it a go too.
As a mum of three children, aged 14, 10 and 4, I always wanted to work with mums-to-be or young mums as I always felt I could support a young family and help with any difficulties that they may be going through.
The perinatal support training was excellent and covered everything I needed to support a family. It was engaging and delivered in a range of different ways such as watching eye-opening films from the perspective of a service user and role playing to demonstrate real life situations. I have an extremely supportive co-ordinator, Jeeve, who supported me through the training and listens to me if I need to offload after visits. She has also been an excellent mentor and helped me with my search for a job – I have such respect for her.
My volunteering role involves me listening to the families that I support and talking through any hardships that they may be facing. I also try to get the mums I support out into the community or out to groups or classes as quite often they don’t have the confidence to do this on their own.
It’s so fulfilling helping families fight their issues
This can be challenging at times because I may have a mum that can’t even cope with going for a short walk or getting dressed-up to meet a friend. It is so fulfilling helping those families fight their issues and gain the confidence to get out and about as it can be such a huge step for them.
I was so happy when one mum told me that she waits for my visit day to tell me how she’s been coping. She always gives me an update on how well she’s done after my last visit and that she feels happy talking to me.
It’s so rewarding knowing someone feels better because of you
My volunteering experience has also helped me in my job search and I have secured a job at Action for Children as a Community Link Worker. I would definitely recommend becoming a volunteer to anyone maybe thinking about it. It’s so rewarding knowing someone feels better in themselves or their lives because of you.
To find out more about our Perinatal Support Service and Home-Start Bradford District visit our project pages. For more information about becoming a volunteer, check out our volunteering opportunities page.