Throughout the COVID-19 health pandemic, there have been many examples of our communities responding to the exceptional circumstances to help those in need. Here, Home-Start Lakeland shares its story.
Home-Start Lakeland have been busy during the pandemic. We recruit and train volunteers to provide activities with children, practical and emotional support for families with young children across Co. Fermanagh by visiting the family in their home once a week. Obviously volunteers cannot visit families in their home during the current restrictions so we have had to be innovative about how we provide support currently.
Our volunteers are supporting families by maintaining weekly contact by telephone, messages and video calls. They are telling stories, doing nursery rhymes and playing with children over video calls. Staff and volunteers are delivering essential items, foodbank and referring families to other sources of support. Our Facebook page ‘Home-Start Lakeland’ is providing activities for children and support for families. Volunteer supervision is being done by video call, trustee meetings by video conferencing, volunteer training has moved on line and we have even had a virtual coffee morning with our volunteers.
As restrictions ease we hope that our volunteers will be able to move to ‘garden gate’ visits, socially distanced walks and picnics. Home-Start Lakeland endeavour to continue to support families in any way we can in the coming weeks and months.