Home-Start South & West Devon offers a unique service. It recruits and trains volunteers, who are usually parents themselves, to be there for families and offer them informal, friendly and confidential support. The families they help have at least one child under 18.
Home-Start South & West Devon is looking for volunteers to offer support, friendship and practical help for families in the region.
Home-Start South & West Devon’s primary service is its peer mentoring, befriending volunteers.
A volunteer with parenting experience offers support to parents either in the home or via text, phone or video chat. The volunteer offers tailor-made one-to-one support, regularly – usually on a weekly basis.
Support can be:
- Emotional support to help parents find ways to manage and resolve problems.
- Direct support for children including playing, listening, having fun, establishing routines, encouraging development.
- Practical help with getting out, budgeting, nutrition and meal planning, cooking and making the home safe.
- Information and links to other organisations including health and educational services.
The support is led by the parent with the volunteer alongside them.
Its mission is to be there for parents when they need it most. To help parents give their children the best possible start in life, Home-Start supports parents as they grow in confidence, strengthen their relationship with their children and widen their links with the local community.
Volunteers are committed and caring people who offer their time freely. They are usually parents themselves and bring with them personal experience, skills and knowledge of the resources available within their local area.
They are friendly and approachable and can be relied on and trusted by parents to listen without being judgmental, and to respect the needs of each individual family.
All volunteers will:
- Undertake an eight-week course of preparation which takes place one day a week during school hours. This fully prepares volunteers for their role.
- Receive lots of support both during the preparation course and after, when they are supporting Home-Start families from a designated co-ordinator.
- Receive additional special training and attend social events throughout the year.
- Receive travel expenses whilst volunteering for Home-Start.
- Offering support, friendship and practical help
- Visiting families in their own homes, where the dignity and identity of each individual can be respected and protected
- Reassuring the families that nearly everyone, at some time or other, experiences difficulties in bringing up children
- Emphasising the positive aspects of family life
- Developing a relationship with the family in which time can be shared and understanding can be developed
- Encouraging parents’ strengths and emotional well-being for the ultimate benefit of their own children
- Helping and encouraging families, including those living in more rural areas, to make use of local groups and support services so they and their children can widen their circle of friends and contacts
Volunteers are asked to commit to two hours a week supporting the family in the area that the family has asked for support around. These hours are a mutually agreed time between the family and volunteer.
Please complete the form below to apply