Charity needs help to take care of 80 families and 180 children

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Birthright Ashburton family visitors (from left) Ruth Logan and Lyn Stuart with field worker...
Birthright Ashburton family visitors (from left) Ruth Logan and Lyn Stuart with field worker Christine Muff.
Birthright Ashburton needs more volunteers to help out as family visitors.

The group supports one-parent families and currently has 80 families and around 180 children on its books, but just four family visitors.

Birthright employs part-time field worker Christine Muff to work as a family visitor. It has been part of the community for more than 50 years.

Mrs Muff said Birthright worked alongside families to offer information, support and "someone to talk to".

New clients taken on were supported for a period of up to three years.

"While we work with the whole family, our main focus is on children and their wellbeing.

"The support we give is aimed at empowering one parent families and supporting them as they grow in confidence and independence."

Mrs Muff said Birthright was about giving a hand up, rather than a hand out.

Today’s family dynamic was ‘‘more intense’’ than in the past and there was more social isolation, she said.

Birthright Ashburton family visitor Ruth Logan has been volunteering her time for the past 25 years.

Typically she works monthly with families and shares the skills of her own life experience, passing on practical advice when needed.

"In my experience, it is important to accept people for who they are.

"I’m not there to judge, but rather to help support families where I can."

Mrs Logan said there were challenges along the way and everyone you worked with was different, but it was important to listen to concerns and to support people in addressing them.

An information evening for prospective family visitors is lined up at Community House Mid Canterbury on February 19 at 7pm.

In March and April, five two-hour training sessions will be held for those interested in volunteering their time a few hours a month.

For more information contact Christine Muff on 308 1237 or birthrightash@gmail.com.

 

 

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