News & Events

Maria & Remi at Scottish Parliament

We speak at the Parliament

08.11.2018 - 11:43

We went to the Scottish parliament yesterday to talk about the importance of Befriending.

Maria, a volunteer, and Remi, a parent spoke to MSPs at the Befriending Impact event organised by Befriending Networks. They powerfully described the loneliness of early parenthood and how home visits from volunteers can raise parent's confidence.

We also heard fascinating stories from other volunteer organisations including Food Train, COVEY, Epilepsy Connexion and Edinburgh Headway.



Look, someone like me!

26.10.2018 - 11:37

Helen Gault is the Antenatal Coordinator supporting families before and after their babies are born,in Edinburgh.

This week I took a Mum and her 12 week old baby to a PEEP group.

Jill has been suffering from anxiety and has not been feeling able to go out much since her baby,Lily's birth.

“I have forgotten how to have a conversation with people” she said, “people are talking about doing this and that, and I just sit there."

It has taken us a few weeks to work up to getting to the group, but this week Jill decided that she was going to push herself despite still feeling very anxious. We got to the group first and settled Lily on one of the play mats, she loved looking around at all the new colours and shapes and lay chatting away.

There were only a couple of other Mums there with their babies and Jill found that she was able to join in with the conversations, which were mainly about nappies and sleep! The babies created a distraction whenever there was a lull in conversation.

Lily got a bit bored lying down so Jill sat her up on her knee. Lily suddenly noticed Mia sitting across from her and was fascinated. Jill said that this was the first time that Lily had seen another baby. Mia was smiling and Lily smiled and babbled back.

At the end of the group, Jill said that she had loved seeing how much Lily had got out of it and that she had actually really enjoyed it. She was glad she had pushed herself to go and said that she would come again next week.

Going along to the group helped Jill feel better and gain a little confidence, Lily experienced new surroundings and interaction with peers and other adults. Hopefully Jill will continue to attend and feel less isolated and less overwhelmed and anxious.

The power of a volunteer armed with a Bookbug!

18.10.2018 - 15:02

Have you ever met a Bookbug?  They are delightfully fluffy yellow creatures that love to help little children to use books.  Our volunteers often take a Bookbug with them when they visit the families they are supporting

Recently a family in Midlothian was referred to Home Link Family Support as mum was feeling quite isolated.  Dad often away with work and mum felt stuck at home with her 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.  The family were new to the area and mum felt unable to get out with the kids, tired and the thought of playing and reading with them overwhelmed her at times.

A Home Link Family Support coordinator met the family and spent some time getting to know them, and then matched them with a weekly volunteer.  The volunteer had recently attended Book Bug At Home training which was part of Home Link’s Volunteer training opportunities.  This meant the volunteer felt confident about singing and reading with children, and was able to take along her Bookbug and a wonderful bag of books and resources.  The kids loved her weekly visits and looked forward to having cuddles with Bookbug while exploring the books together.

The volunteer visited every Tuesday, for a year and her visits included many other activities such as trips to the park, the library and the museum. Gradually mum was able to see how well the kids responded to books and Book Bug and she started to get involved. When dad came home from work, he was happy to join in too.  When the match ended both Mum and Dad said what a huge difference this had made - books, rhymes and singing had become a regular fun part of family life and that the children would often ask for books and songs before bed. 

Rachel Almeida

Midlothian Young Parents Support Coordinator