The Home-Start approach is at its core highly effective, community-based, and volunteer-led. Why volunteer-led and community-based? Because it’s the most effective approach to giving local families the support they need at an early stage #BecauseChildhoodCantWait. By working in partnership with parents we aim to enable them to be warm, consistent, and nurturing carers.
Our support is parent-led, holistic, and focused on the individual needs and skills of the parents we support. Offering early support to families without judgment for as long as they need us is at the heart of what we do. Why early support? Because the first 1001 days in a child’s life make the biggest impact as they lay the foundation for their future.
As a Home-Start Volunteer, you will be carefully matched with local families and visit them for two to three hours every week. The way in which our Volunteers support the families depends on each family and is therefore very individual.
Our Family Support Volunteers are supported and supervised by our 3 Family Support Co-ordinators – Irene, Maureen and Paula. They are on hand throughout the week to support Volunteers in their roles and they deliver our Volunteer Preparation Courses and ongoing training too! Shelley, our CEO, is the out of hours contact for Volunteers – so support is available to all Volunteers at all times!
There are no requirements to become a Home-Start Volunteer.
However, you do need to have a non-judgemental and caring attitude. You will also need bags of enthusiasm, commitment, empathy and a sense of humour!
Being a parent yourself is helpful but not mandatory for joining our team of Volunteers. Having some parenting experience, either in a formal setting, as a childminder or carer, is also acceptable.
We offer a Volunteer Preparation Course three times a year. The course takes place across a 8-week period, usually for three hours a week. The sessions cover Listening Skills, Confidentiality, Child Protection, Values and Attitudes, Being a Volunteer, and What to Expect.
After completing the course, our Volunteers also have further opportunities throughout the year to gain more knowledge and understanding about family-support-related matters. Our Volunteer Training Calendar is filled with regular training sessions designed to equip you with all the knowledge and skills needed to support the family we match you with.
We offer to hold the Volunteer Preparation Courses as well as our other training sessions either face to face or online. They are scheduled for weekdays, either in the afternoon or evening, depending on the needs of our Volunteers-to-be.