Being a Volunteer


At the heart of our schemes are our home-visiting volunteers

Across the county we have around 400 people who volunteer to visit parents at home to give emotional and practical help. All volunteers are parents themselves and attend an 8-10 week preparation course before they are matched with a family.  The preparation course offers volunteers guidance on safeguarding and how to deal with the specific issues a family may be facing including multiple births, isolation, depression, disability or illness, bereavement and domestic abuse.

Home-visiting volunteers offer vital support, friendship and practical help in many different ways.  Support is always tailored to the family’s individual needs and circumstances.

As a home-visiting volunteer you may be required to:

  • Support parents who have little or no help with a child who has a disability or special needs
  • Comfort bereaved parents who are struggling to cope with every day routines
  • Give practical help to parents with prolonged or life threatening illness
  • Help a mother and her children who have been subjected to domestic abuse, gain trust and confidence to rebuild their lives
  • Offer a sympathetic ear and emotional support to a mother who is suffering from severe post-natal depression
  • Provide practical help for parents with everything from housing or employment applications to showing them how to cook a nutritious meal
  • Offer guidance to parents who are struggling with early parenthood

Home-visiting not for you?

Even If home-visiting is not for you, there are many other ways you can get involved with a local scheme in your area.  Our schemes are run by a small number of paid staff comprising Scheme Managers, Co-ordinators and Office Administrators.  Their focus is to manage the scheme’s day-to-day activities, recruit and train home-visiting volunteers and provide support to their Home-Start families.

We also rely on a number of other volunteers to help us with other key areas including fundraising, publicity and financial administration, governance and strategic management.  Some of these volunteers also become trustees and sit on our management committees.

Can you help?

If you believe you can help us by becoming a home-visiting volunteer, or feel that your skills and experience can support our work in other ways, we’d love to hear from you.  To find out more about volunteering, please contact your local Scheme.