Petra – A Volunteer’s Story

Our wonderful volunteer Charlotte has been working with us at the Petra Project for six months. She is such an encouraging, fun and valued member of our team – not least because she invariably comes armed with cake! She is loved by the mums, babies and staff alike. We are all very excited that she will be coming on board as a paid employee in September.

Spending time with young mums facing homelessness at Petra is very often the biggest highlight of my week as I get to spend time with mums to be, new mums and their babies in a lovely home from home environment.

Having experienced motherhood I remember those sleep deprived first few months and cherished the moments when a friend would pop in for a cuppa and bring me a home made meal or cake and offer to hold my baby whilst I had a worry free long leisurely shower. Those visits were really treasured and a lifeline particularly when I had barely slept due to a colicky or teething baby.

Some of our mums at Petra are separated from their families and support networks, due to distance or other circumstances. To come in and build relationships with these beautiful young mums so they can experience support during this vulnerable and exhausting time is such a privilege…and to top it all you often get to snuggle their delightful happy cherubs.

Despite the exhaustion of those early months of motherhood the girls are always so welcoming and inclusive. I can’t believe it’s over a year now that I have been volunteering at Petra and in that time I have witnessed the most incredible parents evolve and develop as our mums are free to delight in their babies. I’m really grateful to be a part of Mercy in Action’s vision to support and house young mums.

If you have a couple of hours to spare once a week or a fortnight and have a heart to support new mums then we would love to hear from you. Some of our supporters have limited time and so join our new births rota where we provide the house with a hot meal every night for 3 weeks after a new baby is born so our new mum can simply enjoy time with her new baby, free from worrying about food.

Other ways we can support our mums is with a home made cake, a basket of fresh fruit, nappies, baby wipes or donations which are incredibly helpful if we have a young mum in crisis without any baby equipment.

We would love to hear from you if you feel that supporting young mums is on your heart. Please email Laura: l.jones@mercyinaction.org.uk

Volunteering at Petra is my weekly treat to myself.

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