Myrvete’s Story


Myrvete was lonely and isolated when she moved to the UK to be with her husband more than a decade ago. But with the help of her volunteer, Myrvete’s confidence grew and she looks back on the support she had from her volunteer very fondly.


A lot of it, Myrvete says, is down to the support of Home-Start in Suffolk, a charity which supports parents and their children in a variety of challenging circumstances.  But Home-Start volunteers who have been visiting Myrvete for several years put her success down to her quiet determination to do the best for her family. At the age of 23, she decided to move to the Suffolk coast in August 2009 from Kosovo to be with her husband Elmi.  The pair had been married since 2007 but were unable to see much of each other, because Elmi worked in the UK.  “I was excited when I came here,” said Myrvete, who had tried learning English before her arrival but found it difficult to master. “When I came here, I thought I was going to have a better life than in my country.  However I didn’t have any family here. My husband was working all the time. I didn’t speak any English. If I went into town and people would say hello, I didn’t know how to reply to them.  My husband was working all day, so I would just stay indoors. I was very shy. I didn’t have any contact with anyone.” When Myrvete became pregnant with her daughter, Orlina, she felt better - but after being born five weeks early, their little girl didn’t grow much at first and didn’t breastfeed very well.  When Orlina was 15 months old, Myrvete was referred to Home-Start by a health visitor. Volunteers for the charity said they immediately “could clearly see her isolation through lack of language and contact” - with Myrvete saying to them straight away: “Please help me.”



They put in place weekly visits to give Myrvete much-needed company and help with her English, which volunteers described as almost like “little language lessons”.

Gradually, things started to improve as Myrvete grew in confidence and learned new words each week, with simple sayings such as “thank you”, “sorry” and “excuse me” making all the difference to her life.

She and her Home-Start visitor would also frequently go out somewhere in Felixstowe during their visits, further boosting Myrvete’s confidence.“They helped me so much,” she said of the charity.  “They helped me feel more comfortable with people. They helped me understand what people meant.”

Of her regular Home-Start visitor, she said: “I’m very glad I met her. I don’t consider her just a friend – she’s part of my family.”  Moving into a more modern flat near Felixstowe seafront in September 2011 also helped, with Myrvete taking obvious pride in making it feel like home.  And her growing confidence and language skills led to her getting a job at a convenience store near to her home, something that would have been unthinkable only a few years before.

Read more about Myrvete’s story here:



“I’m very glad I met her. I don’t consider her just a friend – she’s part of my family.”