How we help you

Being a parent has never been easy. It can be lonely, frustrating, heartbreaking and overwhelming. All parents struggle at one time or another. For some, the challenges can be greater. You are not alone.

Home-Start’s volunteers work alongside families just like yours to give compassionate and confidential support.

They help people to regain the confidence to be the parents they want to be.

The support Home-Start volunteers give is not judgemental, it’s just compassionate, confidential and as an individual, as you are. 

We work with you to build on your strengths and give you the support that you tell us that you need.

Please get in touch with us to find out how Home-Start can help you and your family.

These are just some of the ways that Home-Start can help:

It’s one of our most important roles and we may be able to help you.

There are lots of different organisations that provide support to families, but it can sometimes be difficult to find out about the ones that can help you.  One of the most important roles played by our volunteers is to help people access local services. 

Home-Start helps families to access their local:

  • Children’s Centre,
  • Citizens Advice Bureau,
  • local mental health services,
  • doctors and dentists,
  • housing and financial advice,
  • or illness, addiction or disability support groups.

There are lots of ways that a volunteer could help you:

  • talking to you and informing you about the services that are out there
  • taking care of children while you attend an appointment,
  • helping with transport so you can reach the service you need.

Home-Start support is completely free, you do not have to pay for any of our support and it is entirely voluntary.

It might be suggested to you by a health visitor, a doctor or another professional but it is entirely up to you if you want to work with Home-Start. We will match you with a volunteer. Our staff are very experienced in matching families with volunteers who they think will understand your situation and be able to work with you. If either you or the volunteer is not happy you can end the relationship and try another match. Finally, all of our support is confidential. You don’t have to tell anyone that you are being supported by Home-Start, and we will never tell anyone else unless you say that we can.

Fun for your children and great for you too – sometimes tailored for your specific needs.

Family Groups

Many Home-Starts run family groups. They are held regularly, at a local venue, where you and your children can come along and meet other families.

Your children get the chance to play, learn and have fun with other children and with different books and toys.

You get the chance to meet and talk to other parents – and many parents discover they are going through the same kinds of experiences and feel less alone.

Many of the staff and volunteers running Home-Start groups have also been home-visiting volunteers.  Their groups are a great place for parents to pick up advice, tips and help from Home-Start and other parents.

Other Groups

Some local Home-Starts also run groups to help parents and children through specific hard times – such as postnatal illness, being a single dad, being a single mum or being a teenage parent.  Some run healthy eating or debt relief sessions to help families cope.  

The groups are organised according to local need, so contact your local Home-Start to find out if they run any.

You decide what you will do together. They can help you with practical tasks, offer advice, or support you through emotional issues.

A Home-Start volunteer will visit you in your own home, usually once a week, for a couple of hours. You decide what you will do together. They can help you with practical tasks, offer advice and share their experience of being a parent or support you through emotional issues.

Home-visiting volunteers:

  • help you establish routines for you and your children while you’re going through such a huge change to your life
  • play and read with your children
  • listen to your worries, concerns and hopes for your family
  • be there because they want to be – not because someone has ‘sent’ them 
  • offer a shoulder to cry on
  • share their own experiences of parenting and family life
  • give you a break
  • offer advice if you ask for it
  • provide support, friendship and encouragement
  • help you get to appointments
  • help you access benefits, grants and financial support
  • help you use local services or specialist support
  • help you get involved with your local community

Our volunteers are parents themselves. They are all trained and criminal records are checked before being carefully matched with any family.

We don’t judge how families reach their low points. We just want to help you to cope again.

Parents supporting other parents – one of the main reasons why parents find Home-Start’s support so helpful.

Some local Home-Starts offer specialised group support to help parents struggling to cope with a particular issue.

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Some local Home-Starts offer specialised group support to help parents struggling to cope with a particular issue such as:

  • twins, triplets and more,
  • postnatal illness (for mums and for the rest of the family),
  • being a lone parent,
  • meeting other single dads,
  • or breast feeding.

To find out more, please ask your local Home-Start for details.

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