I felt I could face everything because she was coming to see me and I knew she would come – she was reliable

- A family member

Log In

Username:

Password:


Contact

Official Details

Subscribe

What is Home-Start?

Home-Start is a national charity with schemes in hundreds of local communities. We recruit and train volunteers to help families with young children. Our volunteers, who know about being a parent, support other parents by visiting them in their own homes for 2-3 hours each week.

What kind of families would I be helping?

All kinds of families can find it hard to cope for all sorts of reasons, maybe because of the illness or disability of a child or because of post-natal illness, bereavement or loneliness. At Home-Start we support any parent with young children who asks for our help and our supported families, like our volunteers, come from all walks of life.

Can my support and friendship really make a difference?

All parents know that those early years before children go off to school are vital in a child’s life and at Home-Start we believe parents have the key role in creating a secure childhood for their children. It’s just that sometimes they need a bit of help...your help.

As a volunteer what would I actually do?

Usually you visit a family in their own home once a week for 2-3 hours. How you help is really down to the family itself. Some might need someone to talk to… others may need more practical support with meal planning and cooking, reading to the children, going to the local park, or finding out about local services.

Do I need any qualifications to be a volunteer?

The only real ‘qualification’ is experience of bringing up children. Friendliness and a caring attitude are essential as well as an understanding of the pressures of parenting. We value people who don’t judge others; people who will respect the fact that they have been invited into a family’s home; people who will treat a mother or father as an equal.

Do volunteers get any training?

Yes, we give high priority to the recruitment, induction, training and support of all our volunteers. You will be supported during your training and throughout your contact with families. Home-Start’s highly rated Preparation Course is also accredited by the Open College Network. 

Can I help without visiting families?

Yes! We also need volunteers to help raise funds, as a trustee or in the office with administration and publicity. Contact the office to discuss.

How can I join your scheme?

Please contact us on 01305 265072 or email office@homestartwestdorset.co.uk or download and complete the volunteer application form then post or email it to the office to start your journey to volunteering for Home-Start!