A Horsham mum has told how her young family were recently helped through their unforeseen crisis thanks to the work of one local charity.
Amy Hardwick reached out to the family support charity Home-Start CHAMS (Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex) when her husband’s accident put him in a coma, just two days before their new baby was due to be born.
Amy and her husband were looking forward to the arrival of their second child when a serious bike accident saw him being airlifted to the Intensive Care unit at Kings Hospital in London with brain damage.
Amy was already taking care of their two-yearold daughter and there were just two days to go before she was due to go into hospital for a planned caesarean.
While Amy’s own mum offered to come and stay to give as much help as she could looking after her granddaughter, she herself wasn’t in good health.
“This was so unexpected and such a sudden change of lifestyle. I just knew I would need more support for after the new baby was born,” explained Amy, who was seriously worried about how she would manage seeing her husband in hospital, while spending time with her daughter, who was missing her dad, as well as looking after a new baby.
Which is why Amy got in touch with Home-Start CHAMS. The charity offers support to families with young children throughout Horsham, Crawley and Mid-Sussex, who are struggling to cope.
They were able to give Amy and her family the help they needed in their time of crisis by arranging for one of their trained volunteers to start visiting as soon as Amy came out hospital with her new baby daughter.
The volunteer visited the family home twice a week, helping with the necessary childcare for the baby and allowing their young daughter to have the attention she needed at this difficult time for her.
This extra support enabled Amy to visit her husband in hospital and gave time to focus on his recovery too.
For Amy, having Home-Start’s support made such a difference during a very difficult, full on and unique time’.
It lasted for three weeks, by which time her husband had made good progress and been discharged from hospital. He was still recovering, needing to sleep for up to 19 hours a day, but he was now at home and able to hold his new baby daughter. Amy and her mum felt able to cope on their own.
The work Home-Start volunteers do is invaluable for families who face unforeseen circumstances such as Amy’s, as well as supporting families with longer term needs.
The charity is running its next course to train volunteers for home visiting from Wednesday September 30.
They are looking for people with parenting experience and some spare time, who would like to make a real difference.
For more information, or to apply for the course, please contact them on 01293 416327 or visit www.homestartchams.org.uk
Report contributed by Home-Start CHAMS.