What does it involve?
At the heart of our work is supporting families by visiting them at home. If you become a volunteer, the families you’ll help to support may be facing a variety of difficulties, including loneliness and isolation; ill health; post-natal depression; disabilities; bereavement; relationship difficulties; lone-parenting; coping with multiple births etc.
Will I be the right sort of person to support a family?
Some of our volunteers have parenting experience but it is not compulsory. All you need is experience with children or a background in the caring professions such as social services, counselling, teaching, nursing, child development, psychology or of course parenting. Our training programme is designed to prepare you for the role; it is a one day a week programme over ten weeks and includes counselling skills, safeguarding, unconscious bias training, role-playing and practical work.
What are the details of home-visiting?
You would usually spend 2-4 hours with a Home-Start family each week and, depending on the family’s situation, you may spend 6 months for up to a year with one family.
You could spend time with a young parent helping to build their confidence as they adapt to life with a small baby, or share an outing with a family who finds getting out of the house difficult. The visits might involve offering an extra pair of hands to a family with several children or providing a listening ear to a mother who is suffering from postnatal depression.
Being a Home-Start volunteer means offering friendship to parents and spending time with a family in a way that helps them to regain confidence and independence.
What should I expect as a Home-Start volunteer?
• You will be helping a family to cope with the pressures they are facing and make a real difference to the lives of parents and their children.
• You will receive support and training to prepare you for all aspects of your role as a volunteer from our dedicated coordinators. Our training is on-going and we have regular refresher sessions.
• If you become a volunteer, you will make new friends and have fun.
• You will develop new skills and make new friends and networks.
• Many volunteers feel that it is a “chance to give something back.”
All out of pocket expenses are covered.
Can I offer other ways to help the charity?
Yes, you can. We always need volunteers who can support our work by helping with fundraising activities or offering other skills such as administration, digital and IT, HR, or any other ways of supporting the running of the scheme. Just contact us via our enquiry form or by phone if you think you’d like to become a volunteer.
What’s the next step?
Get in touch with the team on 020 7924 5268.