Hena found that being a part of Volunteers Supporting Families not only helped a vulnerable family but also helped her to apply for a social work degree.
“I contacted Volunteering Matters because I was looking to help women who have been oppressed. I had been in a difficult marriage. I come from a community that doesn’t support divorced women – it’s seen as a stigma. I have helped others to fight child abuse and neglect. This includes setting up support services for women and arranging talks in schools.
The training was absolutely fantastic. Sue talked us through different scenarios and ways to respond to difficult positions that people are in. My work was very closely related to the social worker’s. So under Sue’s supervision I was able to feed back the progress of our family to the social services.
Being embedded in a home where a family is struggling to function was an eye-opener. I have become a more patient understanding person. I had to adapt to what other people can do and became a less cynical person.
I helped the mother of the family with financial management. She was struggling to plan her finances properly and getting into debt. I created budgeting and boosted the family’s confidence by reminding them of the positives. They had been depressed, failing to properly plan meals.
You make progress with the person you are helping by assisting them in taking small steps – and when they fall, helping them again. Now I have been able to help complete strangers I am planning to do a Masters in social work. I know I can go in and support people to take more control of their lives.”