The winter of 2021 is going to be a particularly tough one for countless families across the country. Deciding to support Home-Start UK by taking on a mud run was one of the easiest decisions Infotex has made.
Back in October, the Infotex Home-Start team took part in the gruelling Whole Hog challenge. The eight-strong team completed a cross country run complete with 30-mud based obstacles, all in the name of charity.
Home-Start has been there to support thousands of families across the UK who have struggled with the difficulties of isolation, disability, mental health issues, bereavement, poverty, financial difficulties and multiple births, among others.
Thanks to the support of our family and friends, the Infotex Home-Start team managed to raise more than £2,500 to help the charity continue its much-needed work.
At 18 weeks into her second pregnancy, mum-of-three Katherine was told her daughter had Down’s syndrome. Three weeks later, she was told her daughter had a number of holes in her heart.
Her baby arrived at 35 weeks and spent her first month in hospital. That’s when Katherine’s health visitor referred her to Home-Start.
“Looking back, I was surviving on pure adrenaline. Everything else was falling apart, but I had my blinkers on – I could just deal with what was in front of me – everything else would have to wait. That included the house,” Katherine, 35, said.
“My health visitors referred me to Home-Start so I could get a little bit more help at home. There was always so much to do in the flat and I could feel the pressure building on me. To have someone come in and remove that pressure gave us the space we needed to focus on my daughter’s health needs. This was especially important because the gruelling feeding programme continued once we got home.”
The volunteer helped four hours a week with laundry and cleaning and stayed for a chat.
She added: “When you are in such an intensive situation, it’s really refreshing to talk to someone who isn’t emotionally involved.
“Our volunteer helped to ensure our eldest always had clean clothes to go to school in. Things that may have been missed with everything else that was going on. Looking back, I don’t know how we coped. But I do know that it would have been so much worse without Home-Start.”
Katherine’s daughter spent a further four months in hospital for heart surgery and the volunteer frequently called to ask if there was anything she could do to help. She also supported the family when the baby was discharged.
Katherine and her partner then fell pregnant with their third child and again, a Home-Start volunteer was there like clockwork.
“When lockdown happened and took away this support it was devastating,” Katherine explained. “Our third baby was just six months old. I also had a one-year-old, was home schooling a six-year-old, in a one-bedroom flat, and living with the after pain of symphysis pubis dysfunction which left me hardly able to move some days. The only aspect of lockdown I didn’t actually mind was not seeing people. I actually liked that part of it. My upbringing was hard. I don’t have happy memories of adults. “
A helping hand
She added: “During lockdown, Home-Start was very proactive in sending us activity packs to do. They’d often call to ask if we needed anything. My eldest got really into painting rocks after Home-Start dropped some off along with some paint.
“You can’t adequately convey the impact of Home-Start. Everyone has problems and everyone needs a helping hand, but Home-Start provides a hand, an ear and a heart. I’m so grateful to have Home-Start in our lives.”
For more about Home-Start and how you can help, visit www.home-start.org.uk