Ruth Jubert praised by staff for her constant efforts in aid of the charity
22:30, 12 JUNE 2015
BY BECCA TAYLOR
Ann Kenney (of the Halow Project) chats with Ruth Jubert & Liz Westwood from Home-Start Guildford
A committed and tireless volunteer has been recognised for nearly a decade of work in the Queen’s birthday honours list.
Ruth Jubert, who has been both a volunteer and a trustee for Home-Start in Guildford, was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to children and families.
Mrs Jubert got involved with Home-Start in 2001 after seeing a small advert in the Surrey Advertiser for volunteers.
Having been a single mum from before her son’s second birthday until he turned 14, she knew how hard it could be alone.
She said: “I had my mum to help and advise me, but not everyone has family living nearby.
“Home-Start is one of those quiet charities that not many people have heard of.
“They were finding it difficult to recruit more volunteers so I became a bit more involved as a trustee and did some press releases and articles for parish magazines.
“At that time we had only 18 volunteers and supported 36 families with 75 children during the year.
“This last year we supported 171 families and 350 children, so we’ve grown a bit.”
Mrs Jubert, who lives in Effingham, became chairman of the charity in 2007 and hit the ground running to raise its profile and boost fundraising efforts.
“Several of our volunteers and many of my friends have been fundamental in joining me and organising fundraising events and we have raised more than £200,000 in addition to the basic funding we receive from Surrey County Council.
“This gave the charity more financial stability and the confidence to recruit more staff and provide a full-time office service.
“We have a great team at our Burpham office who are the first port of call for families or volunteers,” she said.
Mrs Jubert was chairman of the charity for two years until 2009, before she stood down and became vice-chairman between 2010-2014.
She said: “It’s not rocket science to give people a helping hand – especially if you’ve been through hard times yourself.
“You could say, and my husband and son, would definitely agree that Home-Start has taken over my life.
“But in the same vein, it has given me so much too and I’ve been proud to support and remain friends with the many families I have met over the years.
“I’m really surprised to be awarded for something that I love doing.”
Home-Start Guildford scheme organiser, Liz Westwood, said: “She could not deserve an award more.
“She has been fantastic both on the front line week in and week out supporting families, but also at the high level as a trustee.”
Mrs Westwood praised the work Mrs Jubert had put in on fundraising and marketing over the years.
Home-Start Guildford is one of 288 organisations in the UK. Families are usually referred by a health visitor but can choose to refer themselves.
To become a volunteer with Home Start, call 01483 511181.