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Home Start UK volunteer Zara spends some time with the family she supports in Acton, London, United Kingdom on the 4th of March 2023. (photo by Andy Aitchison/HomeStartUK)
Volunteer Sule, supporting a family with Homestart Wandsworth, London, UK on the 3rd of October 2022.(photo by Andy Aitchison/HomeStartUK)
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  • Our trustees come from all walks of life, bringing their experience and individual skills to our scheme. The kind of skills that are in demand are business or personnel management, finance and fundraising, IT and communications. But you don’t need special qualifications to be a trustee – common sense, flexibility, time, an ability to work as part of a team, a willingness to learn, understanding of the pressures facing parents today and a genuine interest in supporting parents in your community are just as important to us.
  • A Home-Start trustee is a volunteer who sits on the trustee board of a local Home-Start. Each local Home-Start is an independent charity and being a trustee is all about the governance of the charity – planning how it will achieve its goals. Trustees aren’t responsible for the day to day running of a Home-Start but they do carry out a wide range of duties and are responsible for making the charity effective, providing overall direction and the sound management of funds.
  • Trustees volunteer because they want to be involved in their community and improve the lives of parents and children. What they get back is the satisfaction of knowing that they have helped make a real difference.
  • Contact us for more information or an informal chat about being a trustee. There is no commitment at this stage. Full details on how to apply will be given to you if you decide you would like to help run your local Home-Start.
  • “Even if you think you have nothing to offer you’ll be surprised how much you can contribute as a trustee. If you have a good supply of common sense and a concern for the well-being of families, then there is a role for you. You will learn a lot too” “I felt my experience and skills were going to waste until I was asked to join Home-Start. Now I feel that both Home-Start and I benefit by me being a trustee” “Being a trustee is exciting, friendly and never dull! What could be more rewarding than feeling that what you do does make a real difference to families and children? It’s the direct link I can see between my efforts and families in need that makes me stay” “Being a trustee with Home-Start has provided me with the opportunity to continue using my business skills and experiences in a really rewarding way without sacrificing any of the new lifestyle pleasures that retirement has brought”

All our volunteers must be a parent or have parenting experience.

Before being matched to a family, all volunteers must attend a preparation course. This course runs one day a week for 8 weeks between 9:30 am -2.30pm in term time only

Topics discussed on the preparation course include:

  • The Role of the Home-Start Volunteer
  • How and Why Families are Referred to Home-Start
  • Values and Attitudes
  • Safe Guarding
  • Play
  • Confidentiality Commitment, Boundaries and Support
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The preparation course is very informal and gives volunteers the opportunity to find out more about the project and what their role will be. Our staff run the preparation course although we do invite outside speakers such as a Family Support Worker, Health Visitor or a worker from one of the Children’s Centres to lead sessions. We ask that you can commit to at least one years volunteering for Home-Start to ensure the families have continuity.

Volunteers Help By:

  • Visiting families at home once a week for a minimum of 2 hours for as long as the family needs them.
  • Offering emotional support to help parents find ways of coping.
  • Playing with children, listening, reading, having fun together.
  • Providing practical help – with budgeting, shopping, cooking and getting to appointments.
  • Encouraging parents to get out and about – to family groups and other social activities.
  • Helping parents access parenting advice and parenting skills training such as Health Visitors or Children’s Centres.
  • A Home-Start Volunteer supports families until they have the confidence to stand on their own two feet again and pass on that confidence to their children.
Volunteer Sule, supporting a family with Homestart Wandsworth, London, UK on the 3rd of October 2022.(photo by Andy Aitchison/HomeStartUK)