Frequently asked questions
For families thinking about using our service
Q. I have days when I can’t cope well, but some days I’m ok. I’m not sure my situation is bad enough to justify having a volunteer to help me. What should I do?
A. Please call us on 01763 262262 and talk with one of our Home-Start co-ordinators.
Q. I’ve been referred to Home-Start by my health visitor. What happens next?
A. We will make arrangements with you for one of the co-ordinators to visit you to talk about what help you need and to see if the Home-Start service can help you.
Q. I’m worried about having a stranger visit me to help me. What are the volunteers like?
A. We try really hard to find the ‘right’ volunteer for you. They are all friendly and caring people, selected for their warmth and understanding. We take up references and a Disclosure and Barring check and they undertake a 40 hour induction course – all to prepare them for meeting and supporting you.
Q. What if I change my mind about being supported by Home-Start?
A. We work with you at your invitation and you are under no obligation. We will discuss the situation fully with you and your referrer, but the choice is entirely yours.
Q. How long can I keep my volunteer?
A. The co-ordinator will review your needs on a regular basis and work towards an agreed closure. This happens for most families we support within 8-12 months.
For people considering volunteering
Q. I think I’d like to be a volunteer for Home-Start. What qualifications do I need and what is involved?
A. Our volunteers come from all walks of life. There is no specific qualification. However, you need to have parenting experience and a caring, understanding attitude to families who are experiencing difficulties. You will need to provide us with two references. We will arrange for you to have a Disclosure and Barring check. The initial training for home visiting volunteers is a preparation course that runs for 40 hours during term time.
Q. How do I apply to be a volunteer?
A. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please call us on 01763 262262 for an informal conversation.
Q. What is the commitment for a Home-Start volunteer?
A. Once you have successfully completed your preparation course, we will place you with a family who you will visit once a week for two/three hours. Some volunteers may agree to support up to two families at the same time in this way. You will also be expected to have regular contact with the Home-Start co-ordinators and to attend further training for your ongoing development.
Q. I don’t want to be a ‘home visiting’ volunteer. What else can I do to help?
A. We need volunteers with a range of skills and experience. For example, your business skills might lead you to support or join the Board of Trustees. Volunteers are also required to help at our Family Support Group and fundraising events – perhaps by using your fundraising experience or other skills you could help us? Or you might be able to help us financially with regular donations? Please do talk to us.