My relationship with Home-Start specifically their Manchester branch, began with a mindless scroll through Facebook. I saw a post from Home-Start Manchester inviting applications for people to run the London Marathon 2020. I googled 'Home-Start Charity' and had a quick read of the work they do and instantly knew I wanted to help them.
I applied and got the place!
This happened at a time when I had just started running again after 8 years of inactivity, having children, weight gain and mental health demons. It has proved to be the medicine I so desperately needed.
Home-Start is a local community network on trained volunteers and expert support who help families with young children through their challenging times. They are there for parents when they are needed the most because they recognise that childhood can't wait.
Training for the marathon is going well, i'll admit the postponement of the race itself is a blessing to me and will give me an extra six months to raise funds and get myself over the finish line without injury.
Hope Whitby is a network of families on a mission. The mission they refer to is offering a chance to experience Christian faith in a way that is easy to understand and relatable, whatever situation you find yourself in. They are not a religious organisation but a group of non-judgemental, caring and considerate individuals and families who take comfort in helping others.
For me, when I moved to Whitby after my relationship with my children's father had broken down I was lost. I had lost control in not one but, all aspects of my life. My relationship, health, my finances and most worryingly I had lost any vision of the future. Where would I be in 5 years time? I had no idea.
As many of you may relate to, I was Christened as a baby and ticked the 'Christian' box on registration forms but truth was, I didn't believe in God and didn't go to church. What Hope Whitby gave me was a sense of belonging, of purpose and as their name suggests, of hope.
Hope Whitby offer a wide range of meet ups, community groups and worship. One particular missional community that attracted me was the Malachi Storehouse which started with a single food donation point in the local supermarket and is growing day by day. Malachi Storehouse feeds the children and families who attend Hope Whitby youth groups and provides food hampers for anybody in need, regardless of race or religion.
As my confidence has grown I have volunteered to help the Malachi Storehouse to address Period Poverty in Whitby by raising awareness of the issue and co-ordinating the collection and distribution of sanitary products from those in abundance to those in need.