We would particularly like to recognise and remember the enormous contribution to the work of Home-Start in Bracknell Forest made by home-visiting and Family Group volunteer, Pat Ridley, since she joined Home-Start in 1997, signing up to our Volunteer Preparation course following her retirement.
Sadly Pat died in June and will leave a huge gap – she was the essence of a Home-Start volunteer, giving her time generously and selflessly to help families who were struggling to cope. Her priority was to help parents learn to cope with whatever life threw at them and build resilience, making life better for children and for parents themselves.
Pat could always be relied on to support families with the most challenging circumstances – she was never a ‘quitter’. In the process, she became a good friend to many and managed to keep in touch with a number of ‘her’ families, long after Home-Start support had ended.
Nowhere will Pat be more greatly missed than at our weekly Family Group, which she led for a number of years, before becoming our most reliable Family Group volunteer after her second ‘retirement’. She always had time to listen – and an energy and enthusiasm that put us all to shame. She worked tirelessly to promote the work of Home-Start, not only talking to anyone about the work of the charity but also supporting events and sharing her wisdom and experience with less experienced volunteers.
Pat will be hugely missed by everyone involved in the charity over the last 19 years, including many of the 60 plus families she supported. Everyone who knew Pat will find it hard to think of Home-Start Bracknell Forest without her and our thoughts are with her husband Bert and her family.
If you would like to donate to Home-Start to remember Pat then please go to http://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/patridley