COWDENBEATH woman Kelly Guthrie is living proof of the impact Lochgelly Home Start can have on local families.

Three years ago Kelly, from Walker Street, had little or no confidence on how to deal with the challenges that being a young mum presented.

Her daughter Brogan was needing the support of her mum but Kelly was struggling to cope.

That was where Home Start volunteer Angela Kinloch came in. Angela had been a young mum herself and her training as a volunteer for the BRAG based Home Start organisation gave her confidence to tackle anything and be ready to go out and help a family who was struggling with coping with a young child.

Home-Start helps families with young children deal with whatever life throws at them. They support parents as they learn to cope, improve their confidence and build better lives for their children.

The prep training course cover The Role of a Volunteer; Getting Started as a Home-Visiting Volunteer; Values & Attitudes; Family Life and Supporting Parents; Listening to Families; Confidentiality; and Safeguarding and Protecting Children.

Angela said the how the preparation course enabled her to have better understanding of how varied family life can be and respecting other people’s points of view and she was matched with Kelly and Brogan almost three years ago.

Said Kelly: "My confidence level of tackling being a young mum and looking properly after Brogan was rock bottom.

"When I met Angela she immediately helped me start to believe that I could look after Brogan and my relationship with my daughter has grown in strength thanks to Home Start."

Added Angela: "Kelly had no real connection with Brogan but gradually her confidence in the fact that she could tackle being a mum grew and now they have a marvellous relationship and the 4 year-old is flourishing.

"I must admit that I have found it a very rewarding experience."

Indeed, such has been the impact of Home Start Kelly is now considering becoming a volunteer.

Kelly went on: "It has been amazing the difference our weekly meetings with Angela have made and I would like to think I could give a family the same sort of assistance and help.

"Home Start really is a tremendous help for families who could be struggling to cope with young kids and can quickly instil vital confidence into the young mums and dads to allow them to cope."

Lochgelly Home Start is always looking for new volunteers so that they can meet the needs of young families in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area and they are holding a coffee morning on Wednesday March 29 at their Crosshill Centre office between 10 and 12 to allow anyone who might think they could become a volunteer to meet the current team and find out how rewarding it can be.