We are a married couple in our late twenties. I am a teacher and my husband is an accountant. We are very focused on local community and love meting the people we live near.
I heard about Safe Families through a talk at church. I’d been wanting to do more to help families but was so aware that it is best done through an organisation which provides safe boundaries for volunteers. Safe Families for Children offered that. It was also really flexible and could fit around our busy lives.
We have supported families where the main carer is very ill, mums who want a friend to get out and about with, parents who need a break from their children to get themselves out of addiction, families who just need some furniture fixing or a hand with cleaning and painting.
A highlight was working with a little girl and her family. Her main carer was very ill and her second carer had used up all of his sick and annual leave to look after her. They didn’t have family support nearby. It left them in a tricky situation. We had the little girl over the half term holiday which gave them some quality time and allowed her carer to rest and recuperate. We had an amazing time with the little girl going to see animals and play centres!
You feel like you’ve made a difference but you’ve also made good friends. It’s so easy to build friendships with the children. They are so enthusiastic and resilient. The families are motivating. You just want to cheer them on. It’s hard not to be motivated when you are investing time into someone else life.
From what I can tell, there are so many people who feel and are isolated. No family nearby, no work colleagues and no church family.
Safe Families for Children offers volunteer support. Families know you aren’t paid and it helps them to feel like someone genuinely cares, not just because they are getting paid to care. It builds local community and links people together.
We were inspired, through our work with Safe Families for Children, to become foster carers. We felt that we had experience of the situations of children before care and could see how hard it is for both parents and children to be separated. We get really strongly that as we could empathise and because of our professional skills, we would be able to support children to make the most of what is a really tragic situation. We have loved it so far and are so grateful to Safe Families for Children for being the stepping stone into our foster caring roles.
We have loved being volunteers. We have met some wonderful adults and children. Saying goodbye has been difficult. Sometimes you may never see these people or children again. We remind ourselves that this is good – they are moving on positively with their lives and they don’t need us anymore.