Update: Home-Start West Berkshire

Helix is proud to support Home Start West Berkshire (HSWB) – a local charity whose network of trained volunteers helps families with young children when they need it most.

We are their first and only corporate sponsors and work to ensure all colleagues play their part in our commitment with activity such as voluntary work.

Our most recent donation has been used to support HSWB’s Maternal Mental Health Project. Here is an update from Grace Green, Director at HSWB:

“We have been holding our groups online over Zoom. It is tough as many of the mums didn’t have the births they wanted because of lockdown and some have had traumatic experiences that they feel have set them off on the wrong path from the start.”

“The online groups are in no way a substitute for our face-to-face work, but it is often the only contact they have with other mothers and babies. The mums describe this contact as a lifeline.”

Contact lifeline

One mum said: ‘Just having someone there for support has been a major help. The pandemic has made life very isolating and difficult for many people, but it is harder when you are also struggling with depression, and the stress that having a new-born as well, on top of a pandemic. The support from the volunteers has been brilliant. Sometimes you just want to be able to talk or have a cry, and I feel as much as they try, your partner can’t always fully understand why you feel that way, and when you sometimes don’t even understand fully why you feel that way it doesn’t help. So, when the volunteers talk to you, it’s nice that they just understand and help you to find a way to cope.’

Huge difference

“The most recent struggle for many of our mothers has been that their maternity leave is coming to an end and they have been postnatally depressed and isolated the whole time. We can help them come to terms with this and listen to their very real and understandable loss of the time they were looking forward to so much.”

“Your donation has made a huge difference to us and the ability to provide additional counselling where needed and maintain services throughout so thank you from all of us.”

To find out more about the vital work HSWB does and about its network of volunteers, visit  the HSWB website.