Mother of two ‘would’ve lost the plot’ without charity’s support

Liz Roe, scheme manager, left, and Margaret Turner, home-visiting volunteer, who received a long service award for volunteering for five years.
Liz Roe, scheme manager, left, and Margaret Turner, home-visiting volunteer, who received a long service award for volunteering for five years.

A mother who receives support from a dedicated helper said she ‘would’ve lost the plot months ago’ without her.

Alison Hussey was speaking at a local charity’s 15th anniversary gathering on September 24.

Alison, 35, a full-time mother of two ‘very demanding’ young boys, one of whom, Fletcher, is four-years-old and autistic, said to Home-Start Crawley, Horsham And Mid-Sussex’s invited guests, volunteers, trustees and members of staff: “Without having the emotional support I think I would’ve lost the plot months ago and I look forward to my times with her every week.

“Lyn is not only a volunteer she’s a really good friend. The boys know her as Auntie Lyn and they love her dearly.”

Alison, of Haywards Heath, looks after her children without her husband for most of the week because he works in London.

She explained: “Monday to Friday I’m basically a single mum with two very demanding children and having that extra support is the highlight of my week.

“Sometimes it’s what I look forward to because it can get very dark and very lonely and it’s nice to know you’ve got someone there with you.”

Liz Roe, 55, of Crawley, the charity’s scheme manager, said in response to Alison’s speech at Crawley’s Civic Hall: “It reminds you of why we do this.”

Liz joined the charity 14 years ago and still believes ‘very strongly’ about the work it does.

She said: “My background originally is in education and over the years I met many children who were having very difficult lives. I was very keen to get involved with Home-Start, I’ve been with them for 14 years because I believe very strongly about the work that’s being done.”

The charity gave roses as thanks to its volunteers for their work over the past year.

“It was a very small gesture of thank you to all the hard work they did,” Liz added.

Rosemary Benwell, retired, of Crawley, the chair of the branch’s board of trustees, reported that it had helped 131 families, which included 306 children, over the last year.

It was announced that the branch had been awarded a £294,000 lottery grant to be used over the next three years.

David Turner, the trustees’ vice-chair, spoke about their vision for the charity to be able to meet all the needs that come to it.

Invited to the night as VIPs were MP Henry Smith for Crawley, the Mayor of Crawley, Bob Burgess (Con, Three Bridges), and Gordon Marples (Con, Hassocks), the chair of Mid-Sussex District Council.

For more visit www.homestartchams.org.uk