Home-Start in Waverley is looking for enthusiastic, caring volunteers who have had parenting experience. They must be able to support families with young energetic children and commit to a one day a week course for up to 9 weeks.
Home-Start is the UK’s leading family support charity whose aim is to see a society in which every parent has the support they need to give their children the best possible start in life. Home-Start in Waverley, our local branch has been running for over 20 years and in that time the charity has not wavered in its determination to provide support for families that are struggling with the needs of a young family. Family difficulties can occur for any number of reasons, from multiply births to alcohol and drug misuse. Home-Start in Waverley’s continued success stems from;
- Carefully recruited and trained volunteers who offer emotional and practical help that is free, confidential and non-judgemental.
- The support we offer is unique. The volunteers visit families in their own homes and support them through a range of activities, providing reassurance and encouragement, a listening ear, and hands on practical and emotional support.
This dedicated and individually tailored support relies on both volunteers and funding.
Home-Start in Waverley offers a weekly Family Support Groups in Godalming, Cranleigh and Haslemere that are supported by volunteers. It relies on generous donations and grants to support the costs of this highly valued service.
If you feel you would like more information about becoming a volunteer or would like to help with our funding then please do get in contact with usby clicking on the "Fill in an Application" button.
Person specification and role description for a Home-Start volunteer
A Home-Start volunteer should:
- be a parent or have parenting experience
- be prepared to undertake the Home-Start preparation training course (8 to 9 weeks)
- understand why families may need support from Home-Start
- have a positive, non-judgmental attitude to working with people of any gender, family status, sexual identity, or who are from any ethnic origin, culture or religion, or who may have a disability
- demonstrate a sensitive and caring attitude towards others
- have a clear understanding of the confidential nature of the Home-Start service, and not to break confidences shared by the family, other than when disclosure is essential in order to protect the wellbeing or safety of a child
- have time and enthusiasm for Home-Start, be reliable and understand the importance of reliability to the family
- have good communication skills including an ability to listen
- have a warm and open personality and a sense of humour
- be prepared to keep records as required by the scheme
- be prepared to attend supervision
The role of a Home-Start volunteer
Home-Start is a voluntary organisation in which volunteers offer regular support, friendship and practical help to young families under stress in their own homes helping to prevent family crisis or breakdown. Volunteers, who are parents or have parenting experience understand that sometimes family life can be tough and that is why their support can be so valuable in helping another family. Volunteers are central to the Home-Start service; we could not offer families the same support without them.
What do Home-Start volunteers do?
Home-Start volunteers aim to build the confidence and independence of the family by:
- offering support, friendship and practical help
- committing to a minimum of 2-3 hours per week home-visiting according to the family’s needs, usually Monday to Friday
- offer support at family groups
- visiting the families in their own homes, where the dignity and identity of each individual can be respected and protected
- reassuring families that difficulties in bringing up children are not unusual
- emphasising the positive aspects of family life
- developing a relationship with the family in which time can be shared and an understanding developed, providing a regular, reliable presence in that family
- drawing on their own experience of parenting to encourage parents’ strengths and emotional well-being for the ultimate benefit of their children
- encouraging families to widen their network of relationships and to use effectively the support and services available in the community
What we do
Home-Start helps families with young children deal with whatever life throws at them. We support parents as they learn to cope, improve their confidence and build better lives for their children. The benefits of our support include improved health and well being and better family relationships.
We provide one-to-one support for parents
Our volunteers visit the family’s home for a couple of hours every week. They tailor-make their support to the needs of the parents and children. Volunteers are very committed and will keep visiting until the youngest child turns five or starts school, or until the parents feel they can stand on their own two feet. Parents and volunteers often develop a deeply trusting relationship which can lead to powerful change within the family.
We also run social events for families.
- We offer families choice
- We work in partnership - with each other, with families and with other agencies,
- We work in a spirit of openness, encouragement and enjoyment
- We are flexible and responsive to the needs of families.
Why it matters
The five years between birth and school are vital for a child’s development. What goes on inside a family during these years strongly determines the opportunities and life chances children have. Children who are raised in a stable, loving, family environment are more likely to have a positive and healthy future. But being a parent isn’t easy and sometimes life can get in the way. Circumstances throw you off course and everything else can take a back seat. A young child caught up in this can miss out on the love, routine and stimulation that are so vital for their future. Home-Start works because our volunteers are parents. They understand how hard it can be. They work alongside parents, in their own homes, to help them cope with the stresses and strains of life and make sure they have the skills, time and strength they need to nurture their children.
Home-Start wants to see a society in which every parent has the support they need to give their children the best possible start in life.
Home-Start in Waverley is a voluntary organisation that helps families with at least one child under 5 years who are finding life difficult. We believe that a little help early on, is more valuable than a lot of help later, when things are going seriously wrong.
By helping early on with a word of advice or help to find independence, young children will have a better start in life, and have a better chance to turn out as productive and responsible citizens. We know that parenting is not easy.
Home-Start is a non-judgemental organisation, and helps any parent who is struggling, for any reason. Some of those reasons may include; multiple births, an abusive partner, isolation, mental or physical handicap, or the pressure that loss of employment brings to a family.