Home-Start offers support, friendship and practical help to parents with young children in the local community.
To help give children the best possible start in life, Home-Start supports parents as they grow in confidence, strengthen their relationship with their children and widen their links with the local community.
We have three main services:
- Core home visiting – one-to-one weekly support for families with children 3 months-5 years old
- Bump to Baby – one-to-one weekly support starting from pregnancy and newborn stage
- Hubs – group activities for Home Start families
How we can help families?
If you are struggling to cope and finding things difficult, we can help. It doesn’t matter what your situation is, we have a large group of volunteers who have been trained to deal with a wide range of issues. We can help families with at least one child under the age of five, who live in Wandsworth.
Difficulties can range from isolation, financial worries, disability, mental or physical illness, bereavement, domestic violence, or addiction. Everyone’s situation is different, but for one reason or another, you may find it difficult to cope.
How does it work?
Once you have contacted us, one of our coordinators will contact you to see how Home-Start can help. If weekly volunteer support is needed, the coordinator will visit you at home. If a volunteer can be assigned to you, we will add you to our waiting list and match you to the volunteer who can offer the best support.
Our volunteers dedicate a minimum of two hours a week to help.
Who are the volunteers?
Most of the Home-Start volunteers have their own parenting or professional experience. They are carefully selected for their friendliness, practical approach and experience. All our volunteers pass an enhanced criminal records bureau (DRB) check and attend a nine-week training course before being matched with a family.
How can a volunteer help familiies?
It depends on the individual situation but support might include:
- Accompanying you to activities with the children such as playgroups, as it can feel daunting to go alone at first
- Helping you get on top of daily tasks that may have piled up and left you feeling out of control
- Pointing you to organisations that are specialised to help a particular situation you find yourself in, such as breast feeding, depression, debt, domestic violence, disability, addiction etc.
- Supporting you to attend medical appointments with your child.
- Giving you a little extra help if you are exhausted by the demands of multiple children.
- Simply being a friend to talk to if you are feeling low.
What do I do next?
If you live in the Borough of Wandsworth, please telephone us on 020 7924 5268. If you do not live within this Borough, call our national freephone number 0800 068 63 68 for details of your local Home-Start organisation. Or you can send us a message via the ‘Contact us’ page of this website and we will telephone you.
If you are a referrer you can download our referral form here.
Home-Start support is completely confidential. Personal information is not disclosed to anyone outside Home-Start without your consent, except where there is a concern about the safety or welfare of a child.
What if I change my mind?
You choose whether or not to accept Home-Start support and can change your mind at any time. A volunteer will only visit at your invitation.