YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Become a Home-Start volunteer
As a parent, you’ll know just how tough it can sometimes be. Did you sometimes long to have someone to talk to, to confide in or just to share a coffee and a chat with? Home-Start offers this kind of support.
Our carefully trained volunteers, who all have experience of bringing up children, give emotional and practical help to any parent with at least one child under five. By visiting a family in their own home and offering friendship, Home-Start volunteers represent a lifeline for many families who are finding it hard to cope.
YOU could have exactly the skills needed to make a difference to a family living locally.
Will I be the right sort of person to support a family?
Home-Start volunteers are all ages and from all walks of life. All we ask of them is that they have experience of bringing up children and can spare between two and four hours a week.
What would visiting a family involve?
This varies. 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 post-natal illness.
Being a Home-Start volunteer means offering friendship to parents and spending time with families in a way that meets their needs.
What will I gain from being 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 with Home-Start.
You will make new friends and have lots of fun.
You will receive out of pocket expenses.
You will develop new skills and have some wonderful experience to add to your CV.
If I’m not a parent, can I still get involved?
Yes you can. We always need volunteers, parent or non-parents, who could support schemes by helping with fundraising activities or joining local management committees and getting involved in the running of schemes. For these roles you would not need to be a parent.
“I left school at 16 with no qualifications – completing the course for Home-Start is like receiving an honors degree, and this is just the start … I’ve got the taste for learning.”
Newly trained volunteer
The Preparation Course is designed to do two things:
- Prepare the volunteer for the things they might encounter as a home visiting volunteer.
- Help the coordinator get to know the volunteer. This is essential if the coordinator has to try and match a family with a suitable volunteer.
Courses run throughout the year, usually once a year in each of the five areas we cover.
Contact the coordinator for the area you would like to support in to register your interest on the next course.
Kelly Coats (Kintyre, Mid Argyll & Islay) Kelly@homestartmajik.eclipse.co.uk 07917 285 154
Support and training of volunteers is a high priority for the scheme.
New volunteers are enlisted on a course of preparation which includes the topics,
- An introduction to Home-Start and home visiting
- Family values and attitudes
- Family life and supporting parents
- Emotional health and well-being
- Listening skills & communicating
- Care for the carer and support and supervision
- Physical health and well being
- Child protection
- Attitudes & values
- Additional needs
- Personal safety & support
- How to engage parents with their children
- Commitment & boundaries
- Home visiting
- Role of being a Home Start Volunteer and what it means for you
At the end of the course, there is a final interview when the volunteer will be told whether or not they have been accepted as a Home-Start home visiting volunteer.
Volunteers all have parenting skills and understand the stresses and strains involved in bringing up a young family They are understanding caring and reliable and make a commitment to visiting one or two families in their own homes regularly.
Volunteer’s specific needs are met by ongoing training days, regular support meetings and the support of their coordinator at all times.
The role of the volunteer is complimentary to the professionals and offers an informal flexible approach to the families needs.
Find the volunteer application form here.