About Home-Start Leeds

Home-Start Leeds is an independent charity that began in 1987. We are affiliated to the national Home-Start UK network who provide us with training, information, support and guidance but we are responsible for our own management and securing our own funding. Our carefully recruited volunteers are all people who understand the demands of being a parent or carer and bring care and kindness to their role. 

Helping families in Leeds since 1987

5000+
Families Helped

9000+
Children Supported

2000+
Volunteers

Our Vision, Mission & Values

Our Vision

Every parent has the support they need to give their children the best possible start in life.

Our Mission

To support parents as they grow in confidence, strengthen their relationship with their children and widen their links with the local community.

Our Values

  • 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

We want to see a society in which every parent has the support they need to give their children the best possible start in life.

The need for our work is acute and growing. In the UK right now:

  • 6 million children live in severe poverty
  • 93,000 children live in care – an increase of 10,000 in 10 years
  • 1 in 10 children aged between 5 and 16  have a mental health problem
  • 2 million children are regular witnesses to severe forms of domestic violence

We believe that the best possible start in life for a child begins at home with their family. A nurturing, loving, stable family and home environment strongly determine a child’s future life chances. Children whose parents are struggling to cope can miss out on the love, routine and support that are vital for their future.

What We Do

We offer a unique, non- judgemental, volunteer led, confidential family support services.

After careful selection and comprehensive training, our volunteers are introduced to a family and become a trusted support and mentor. They visit them and their children at the family home and help in a variety of ways such as:

  • Listening to parents and offering emotional and practical support.
  • Working with them to recognise their strengths and weaknesses to support them through challenging times.
  • Empowering parents to engage with other support networks available within their local area.
  • Encouraging them to prepare their children for early learning & the school environment.
  • We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk and expect all staff, trustees and volunteers to share this commitment.
  • We promote equality of opportunity and inclusion for all, celebrating the difference and diversity of people and valuing the positive impact that each individual brings to our organisation.
  • We expect all staff, trustees and volunteers, at all times, to uphold attitudes, values, behaviour and language that underpin child centred practice
  • We are committed to ensuring the voice & influence of children, young people parents and carers informs development and delivery of all our services.

Our Team

Staff

Our work at Home-Start Leeds is supported by our small dedicated staff team, who recruit and train our volunteers to offer practical and emotional support in the homes of families who are struggling to cope for a variety of reasons.

I commenced my role at Home Start Leeds in September 2021.

I bring to Home Start Leeds over 25 years’ experience of senior leadership in the Public and Voluntary Sectors. During my career I have held senior roles at several leading organisations and have worked in the areas of Learning Disabilities, Therapeutic Counselling, Mental Health, Alzheimer’s and Debt & Housing Advice; and I spent 16 years as a Local Authority Councillor where I sat on range of regional, national and international boards and committees.

My passion is in life is to support people who struggle to navigate the complexities of daily life and bureaucratic systems by giving them support in times of need, and then working with them so that they can achieve their personal goals and aims.

I joined Home-Start in 2004 as a volunteer. I completed the work experience programme and became a co-ordinator in 2005. I am currently senior co-ordinator and strategic Lead for safeguarding and Domestic Abuse and violence. I am also the New Start co-ordinator at Home-Start.

I look after New Start at Home-Start Leeds.

I first came to Home-Start Leeds as a volunteer in 2010. After having my daughter and spending a few years at home I decided that it was time for a career change. I went to college to resit my GCSEs and then went on to university and earned a Working with children, young people, and family’s degree.

I took advantage of the free learning and development that is offered to all volunteers and earned some extra qualifications and built up my knowledge and skills for working with families. In 2016 I accessed the work experience programme to gain experience in the office. The placement gave me so much more than that.

I started my role as Co-Ordinator in February 2017, I can honestly say it is the best job I have ever had. I feel lucky to be a part of this amazing team. I love meeting all the families and training and supporting our wonderful volunteers. I have recently taken on the role of New Start Co-Ordinator alongside my colleague Nicola.

I look after New Start and Parent to Parent at Home-Start Leeds.

I am one of the Perinatal Co-ordinators. I started volunteering in 2018 and had a really rewarding experience with the family I was matched to. I joined Home-Start as an employee in September 2020 coming from a pharmacy background. I have two young daughters and am a massive animal lover.

I look after Peri Natal at Home-Start Leeds.

My journey started as a volunteer for Home-Start. I have been a co-ordinator for 6 years. The past 4 years I have been lead on the Young Parent Care leavers we support within Home-Start Leeds.

I started volunteering with Home-Start Leeds in 2017 and left my job in insurance to become a co-ordinator in 2019. I am one of our peri-natal well-being co-ordinators and work with families with a child/ren under 2 where either parent is struggling with their mental health.

Alongside, I am studying a Child and Family Studies degree at Leeds University which enables me to understand the theory underpinning my practice with families. 

I look after Peri Natal at Home-Start Leeds.

I volunteered with Home-Start Leeds for approximately 4 years prior to starting my Co-ordinator role. I started as a Parent-to-Parent Co-ordinator in September 2020. I am really enjoying my role and looking forward to continuing supporting families and volunteers in the future.

I look after Parent to Parent at Home-Start Leeds.

 I am the volunteer recruitment coordinator and I have been in post since September 2020, I have also been part of Home-Start as a volunteer since September 2018 which is still ongoing. In 2019 I took park in the coordinator work experience program where I observed and worked alongside the coordinators learning about their role this was an interesting insight and I am glad I got the opportunity to take part.

I am currently studying a Child and Families Studies degree and am now in my final year of studies. I have two young children; I love the Harry Potter series and my favourite sweets are Percy Pigs.

I am the Finance Worker for Home-Start Leeds. I have worked in this role since January 2019. I am also a volunteer supporting families on a weekly basis.

I started my journey at Home-Start Leeds as a family in 1990 when I became pregnant with my 4th child at a very difficult time in my life.

In 1992 I completed the preparation course but decided not to support families and became a volunteer in the Home-Start office, which led me to apply for the clerical assistant position in 1995. Since that time, I have had several different job titles within the organisation and at present I am the Volunteer Development/Admin, which entails servicing the Co-ordinator meetings, DBS checking and supporting new volunteers to gain access to our preparation courses.

I am an Administrator/L&D Monitoring worker. I started at Home-Start on an Administrator Apprenticeship and from there grew into the position I have today. My day to day involves updating Family and Volunteer information in their files and on CharityLog, I collate and report on quarterly statistics and contribute to the Learning & Development team and the Newsletter. My passion is Photography and hope to travel the world someday capturing every unique moment that comes my way.

Trustees

Home-Start Leeds is managed by a board of volunteer trustees who serve on the governance board and are responsible for directing the management and administration of the charity. The trustees have a wide range of duties and are responsible for effectively running the charity, providing overall direction and maintaining the sound management of funds.

I am retired but started quite a few years ago as volunteer trustee whilst working for the Leeds Early Years services (as it was then known), I was asked to represent them on the Homestart Leeds board.

My initial years of volunteering were very diverse and interesting, which led me, when I retired to stay on as a volunteer. I have always admired the ethos and dedication of the organisation. I became chair two years ago and enjoy the challenge.

I find my background in working with families and young children has been really helpful.  In my spare time I am an avid traveller and also enjoy cooking!

I am a retired Chartered Quantity Surveyor and Senior Project and Programme Manager with over forty years’ experience in managing high profile multi-million-pound public and private sector projects across the NHS, Central and Local Government, the Ministry of Defence and the private sector.

I have hands on experience of delivering successful transformational business change programmes through service re-design, business planning and real estate and facilities management, both at a strategic and operational level.

My interest in becoming involved with Home-Start Leeds was firstly around me wanting to put something back into the local community where my family and I were brought up and secondly to be involved in a local charity that really made a difference.

I have now been involved as a Trustee for over 3 years and this has brought me great insight into how dedicated and passionate Home-Start Leeds is. I am proud to be a Trustee of Home-Start Leeds because together we do make a difference to young families across the city.

I became a trustee in 2008 and before that I was a home visiting volunteer for 5 years. My background was in sales management after which I became a full -time mother to my 2 daughters after relocating to Leeds for my husband’s job. After the children reached school- age I decided I would like to be involved in improving outcomes for children.

My own personal challenges and experiences of childhood taught me the importance and difference that extra family support can make. The home visiting volunteer model at Home-Start appeared to be one of the most effective forms of family support in the charity sector and I felt a strong affinity to its values and ways of working. It fulfilled all my expectations and I have enjoyed my time here immensely whilst benefitting greatly from the experience in terms of my own development.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading, salsa dancing and learning to speak Spanish (I might be fluent by the time I’m 90!).

I am a retired Child and Family Psychologist and have been a Trustee at Home-Start Leeds for a number of years.

I joined HomeStart Leeds in 2013. I had recently retired, and my sister already volunteered down in Hampshire. She told me to check the charity out, she was sure it would be something I would enjoy. 

Since completing the very intense but enjoyable Preparation course, becoming a volunteer, and then being invited to join the Board of Trustees I am so proud to be part of Home-Start Leeds.  I have supported families over those years. Some extremely challenging, but always privileged to feel I helped and encouraged these families. Home-Start volunteers are a wonderful group of people who visit families in their own homes. 

Never judging but always a kind listening ear and helping with practically any sort of problem the families are facing. Being a trustee, I now feel I can be part of a group of people that assist and advise on the actual running of the charity. I get involved with Safeguarding and I am also on the Personnel committee, I enjoy sometimes being a part of recruitment of staff and being part of their annual reviews. We certainly have brilliant hard working committed staff.

I hope to be part of Home-Start for many years to come. 

My background is in Further Education where I helped many mature students to access courses and launch their subsequent new careers. Many were single parents, coping with studying and bringing up children on a very limited income.

This experience led to me becoming a Home-Start home visiting volunteer in 2006, a role which I still fulfil. I later added the duties of Trustee so that I could contribute to the management of the organisation.

Children are at the heart of what we do at Home-Start and it is support to them and their families which is my motivation for continuing in this work and from which I derive great satisfaction.

I have been with Home-Start Leeds from the very beginning when I came to Leeds Social Services in 1986. There was a small group of people from the voluntary sector, health departments and local authority who helped set up Home-Start Leeds.

I represented the local authority on the board of trustees until I retired in 2002 and since then have stayed as a voluntary trustee. My background has always been childcare and supporting families

Margaret started Home-Start Leeds in late 1986 with a small group of supporters from the health authority and social services through her work with Voluntary Action Leeds and has remained as a trustee ever since.

We are always looking for new Volunteers to help us help and support families.

View our Current vacancies…


Here are some volunteer journeys

View all of our Volunteer Journeys…

Here are some experiences from the many families which we support

View all of our Family Experiences…