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'family support' volunteering

As a parent you’ll know just how tough it can sometimes be. Did you often long to have someone to confide in or just to have a chat with? Our trained mentors, who all have experience of bringing up children, give free emotional and practical help to any parent, with at least one child under the age of eleven. By visiting a family in their own home and offering friendship, Koala North West mentors represent a lifeline for many families who are finding it hard to cope.

will i be the right sort of person to support a family?

Koala North West mentors are all ages and from all walks of life. All we ask of you is that you have experience of bringing up children and can spare up to three hours a week.

What will visiting a family involve?

This varies, every family situation is different. You could spend time with a young parent, helping to build their confidence as they adapt to life with a small baby, or maybe share outings with a family who finds getting out of the house difficult. The visits might involve offering an extra pair of hands to a family with several children, or providing a listening ear to a mother who is suffering from postnatel depression. Being a Koala North West mentor means offering friendship to parents and spending time with families in a way that meets their needs.

What will i gain from being a Koala North West volunteer?

  • Satisfaction in knowing that by helping a family cope with the pressures they are facing, you can make a real difference to the lives of parents and their children.
  • Improve your own well-being. Evidence shows that helping others is actually beneficial for your own mental health and wellbeing. It can help reduce stress, improve your emotional wellbeing and even benefit your physical health.
  • You will receive support and training to prepare you for all aspects of your role with Koala North West.
  • You will make new friends and have lots of fun.
  • You will develop new skills through ongoing training, and have some wonderful experience to add to your CV.
  • Out of pocket travel expenses

A volunteer's story

I am privileged to have been a Koala North West mentor for nearly two years, having initially completed the 10 week Mentor Induction Programme (MIP). The MIP was an excellent, comprehensive training programme, delivered by knowledgeable and enthusiastic members of the Koala North West team.

I am currently working with a single Mum bringing up five children, two under five. Mum has mental health issues and other health issues. Until Koala North West became involved. Mum was struggling and reluctant to share her problems; the two younger children very rarely left the home. She has slowly opened up with regards to her problems, allowing other agencies to become involved with the well-being of the family. As a result the two year old now goes to pre-school twice a week learning vital new skills and both children attend the local Let’s Play session.

Koala North West provides fantastic support for its mentors as well as the families, with regular support and supervision. There is always support at the end of a phone.

I have been able to avail myself of the many on-going training opportunities made available by Koala North West, including Deaf Awareness, ADHD training, Mental Health training, Gambling Awareness, Maximising Income, as well as attending annual safeguarding refresher training.

Koala North West has, and is, providing much needed support for families who are struggling with a diverse range of difficulties.

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