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Sharon and Denis' Story

My husband Denis and I moved to Australia from Canada.  I, Sharon, am Vietnamese and Denis is Thai/Chinese.  We arrived with a two year old son and a new baby on the way. We had no support networks and knew nothing of the community services available.  We were anxious and feeling very lonely.  I missed my family and friends.

Denis took the car to work each day and worked long hours, so getting out was difficult.

Home-Start was able to link a volunteer, Shirley, with our family a week before our baby was born. We love her and feel she is "in tune" with us.

At each visit Shirley asks what she can do to help. Often she plays with our son and gives one on one time to him – he is very happy to be with her.  Some days we go across the road to the park. 

Occasionally Shirley transports us to the shops or to doctors appointments and she occupies the children so I can have an uninterrupted appointment. Shirley has encouraged me to have a few driving lessons with a driving school,  just to gain my confidence and now I am driving myself and the children occasionally.  Shirley accompanies us to playgroups and has since helped transition our son into Preschool. 

Just knowing Shirley is there for us is great. I don’t feel alone now! She’s great to talk to about the kids, and about life in Australia and Canada.

My husband Denis says that before we had out Home-Start volunteer, we were so home-sick we were talking about giving up and going back to Canada.  Since we met our volunteer, we’ve really settled down and feel more at home.”

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