A life-long bond

It seems fitting that Helen Jackson shares the same surname as the family she volunteers for; what began as a fledgling friendship born out of her desire to help families caring for children with life-threatening conditions, has now become a connection that’s as close as any family.

The Jackson family, Anne and Peter and their daughters Sarah (20) and Eliza (15), have received Helen’s support for the past eight years as they’ve worked through the challenges of caring for Eliza, who has Rett Syndrome. The neurological disorder impacts Eliza’s mobility and communication, and means she requires intensive round the clock care.

Helen joined the Jacksons as their home volunteer, initially, to support a shy 12-year-old Sarah. The pair spent time together going to art classes, watching movies, playing board games, cooking and going to Sarah’s netball games.

With Sarah now an independent young adult, Helen has turned more of her attention to Eliza, taking her for walks, visiting her in hospital and when she stays at Very Special Kids House, and watching The Wiggles together.

“I’ve been blessed with a special relationship with a wonderful family and the opportunity to make a difference in their lives,” said Helen.

Anne said the family and Helen have developed a close friendship that goes beyond Helen being their Very Special Kids trained home volunteer.

“After so many years spent together you can’t help but be close. Now she’s just a part of the family,” she said.

Peter said they feel privileged to have had incredible Very Special Kids home volunteers help their family.

“It’s the little things; the bits and pieces they do that all come together to make a big, big difference.”

Very Special Kids has 130 families on the waiting list for a volunteer, and it costs $1,300 to train one volunteer. Donate to help us train more volunteers.