How Volunteers Can Help

Volunteers offer tailor-made, emotional and practical support to families through

Appointments

Help getting to appointments

Routines

Support in establishing routines

Access Benefits

Helping to access benefits, grants and financial support

Local Services / Support

Using local services or specialist support

Local Community

Getting the family involved with the local community

Reading

Encouraging play and reading with their children

Listening

Listening to the family’s worries or concerns

Sharing Experiences

Sharing your own experiences of parenting and family life

Being There

Being there because you want to – not because someone has ‘sent’ you

Breaks

Giving parents a break from coping alone

Encouragement

Providing support, friendship and encouragement

Offering Shoulder

Offering a shoulder to cry on

The kind of families we support

We support any family that is struggling to cope, where there is at least one child under five. Families may need support due to

  •  Isolation
  •  Illness or injury
  •  Disability or mental health issues
  •  Bereavement
  •  Relationship problems
  •  Multiple births
  •  Teenage pregnancy or being a young parent
  •  Feeling overwhelmed, exhausted or unhappy
  •  Poverty or financial difficulties
  •  Poor housing
  •  Domestic violence

Home visiting volunteers

To be a Home-Start home visiting volunteer, you will need to be a parent or have parenting experience, undergo a criminal record check at enhanced level. Attend our free volunteer preparation course with other new volunteers. This is about 30-40 hours and takes place before you are linked with a family. Be able to visit a family at home, once a week, for around two hours, to support them.

Understand that your support for families is completely confidential. Be able to commit to at least a twelve month period of support. Have a non-judgemental attitude and understand about the pressure of bringing up a family.

Volunteers do not need any formal qualifications to support a family. You are fully trained and supported for as long you are helping a family.

Volunteers Trained

Home-Start volunteers are thoroughly trained and supported before and during their time with a family, and can expect an induction to Home-Start’s service.

Full preparation training, before meeting your first family. Regular support and supervision sessions with staff at your local Home-Start. Paid travel expenses during training and while you support a family. Additional training to supplement your preparation and induction.

Safeguarding training provides an overview of safeguarding children in Home-Start, how to respond to concerns about a child and understand where to go for advice and support.