Today we hear from a Mersey volunteer who takes us with her on her journey with Safe Families for Children.
When I was young my Dad was very unwell and I know my Mum would have really appreciated someone to come alongside her to give her simple practical support. Later, I myself was so grateful for the support of friends when I was left to bring my son, then only 16 months old, up on my own, but I realise that not everyone has people around who are able to care for or help them in times of crisis.
I made my application to become a volunteer with Safe Families and took part in the first Merseyside training event at Liverpool Cathedral in March 2015. I met with others just like myself – nervous, but hopeful and excited about the opportunities ahead. That morning, in my personal devotions, I read: ‘Each of you as a good manager must use the gift that God has given you to serve others. Whoever speaks must speak God’s words. Whoever serves must serve with the strength that God supplies so that in every way God receives glory through Jesus Christ.’ 1 Peter 4 v 10-11.
My first ‘assignment’ was to spend 2 hours one Sunday afternoon, helping a mum care for her young toddler, while she had an injury. The impact of the support given by volunteers in the weeks previous to my visit reassured me that she had received wonderful care, and she was very grateful. Later that year I was able to support a family over a number of months, helping a mum get her 2 lovely girls ready for school a couple of mornings a week. Since last September I have been visiting a family once a week, after I finish work, to help a mum with early evening routines with her 3 young children, as mum is struggling with her own health issues.
Volunteering with Safe Families has given me the opportunity, not only in some small way to help a family at their time of need, but to be welcomed into homes and families. It’s given me a chance to learn about myself and others, to grow in skills and trust in God, and to give something back. I am able to build relationships with parents and children, although sometimes this is just ‘for a season’. As I work full-time, the requests to be a ‘Family Friend’ are varied and have fitted in with the time I have available to support. Best of all, I am able to demonstrate in a practical way the love God has shown me.
A huge shout out to all our Mersey volunteers! Your passion and love for families is seen and much appreciated.
If you want to join our passionate volunteer team, please click the link below.