Gerard’s Journey of Becoming a Trustee


Gerard is a semi-retired independent social worker, who volunteers as a trustee for Home-Start Richmond, Kingston and Hounslow. Home-Start provides support to families in the boroughs of Richmond, Kingston and Hounslow who have at least one child under the age of five. The support varies according to the needs of each individual family, but volunteers are there to listen, offer friendship in times of need, and practical help, for example, during playtime or outings.

“Having worked in the social care sector throughout my life, I decided that, given this background, I still had something to contribute to the wellbeing of the more vulnerable members of the community.”

“My experience in child protection has given me the expertise to impart in assessing risk in vulnerable families and meeting the needs of children who may have suffered, or be likely to suffer harm.”

“I deliver safeguarding training to prospective volunteers – something I have always enjoyed and believe to be of great importance. I have also benefited from advising the volunteer coordinators on safeguarding matters. Of particular importance has been my providing supervision to the senior coordinator, giving us both the opportunity to reflect on our professional practice while acknowledging the personal impact of sometimes distressing and worrying circumstances involving children.”

“I would recommend being a trustee without hesitation. I think it’s important for each and every one of us to recognise that there exists a high level of need in our community and that we all have a responsibility to respond to this and do our utmost to ameliorate the lives of those who need help.”

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