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21 January 2019, Impact of Our Work

Raising a family is not easy. If you’re on your own, with no support network, it can sometimes feel like the hardest thing in the world

Mary Anne understands this all too well. That’s why she volunteers each week to spend time with mums of young children who are finding things a bit tough. It’s part of a program we call Volunteer Family Connect.

Volunteers like Mary Anne visit mums in their homes and help bridge the gap between families and their local communities. Our volunteers are trained and can support mums of young children to build loving, happy and nurturing home environments.

Mums might just need a friend to talk to, a helping hand around the house or a little bit of extra support and encouragement.

“It’s important they have somebody that cares … If mum’s doing ok there’s a trickle effect for the child,” says Mary Anne, “If mum can feel confident and respectful of herself and where she’s at, she becomes an important role model for the rest of the family, definitely.”

“It’s empowering the parents. It’s them gaining their integrity, their dignity, their validation that it’s ok to be who I am. It’s ok. And if I can accept myself I can pass that onto the children and they can accept their self and we can all just get on with the job.”

“It’s a bit of a cliché,”
Mary Anne says, “but I came to a point in my life when I felt it was my turn to give back. That sounds really corny, doesn’t it?” But, despite the fact she’s volunteering her time to support families, Mary Anne counts herself as the lucky one. “You get more out of it than you give…These families are my teacher. I’m the one volunteering and I’m giving the support and they’re the ones teaching me. It’s crazy, isn’t it?”

Mary Anne knows it can be tough for parents and has nothing but admiration, respect and empathy for the people she works with. “It’s probably not a nice place to be,” she says, “but there is a rainbow. There is help. You can move forward, it can be done.  You can do it.”

Volunteer Family Connect is made possible thanks to our compassionate volunteers and our generous supporters. Thank you for your time, energy and donations – you’re giving parents the support they need when facing tough times. 

Images: Robert McKechnie/Save the Children

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