Being a Parent Champion is “fulfilling, life affirming”

5th June 2018 By: Vicky Hotton

This Volunteers’ Week, one of our AFNCCF Parent Champions, Vicky Hotton, talks about why she decided to volunteer for the centre.

There’s nothing like dropping everything: career, plans, courses to take up a sudden unplanned and full time caring role for a very ill child. It shakes your world to such an extent that after a prolonged period you lose sight of your own freedom, desires and dreams.

So how do you regain that balance?  How to reengage with the world in a tentative manner, without becoming overloaded with paid employment expectations, during the early days of your young person stepping into their new educational journey?  

For me, I chose to volunteer with the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families after seeing a Facebook advert. We have a long, bumpy history of needing support from mental health services – some positive times - some less so. We live a life different from most families, but in no way unique to those who are also treading the same or a similar altered path of child development. In the past I had been asked to make formal complaints in order to improve local service development, but that’s not my preferred style. I want to be proactive and have positive thinking; addressing some of the issues from the bottom up whilst regaining my sense of self and confidence. Every cloud has a silver lining and all that....

And so, an exciting working relationship has begun… who knows where it will take us next, but it is fulfilling, life affirming and everything I hoped it would be.

Vicky Hotton is a Parent Champion at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

Read about our current Volunteer Opportunities


Posted in: General News