Could you become a Home Visiting Volunteer for Home-Start?

Without volunteers we wouldn’t be able to do what we do!

We aim to recruit volunteers from all walks of life who have various life experiences and cultural backgrounds and who are aged 18+.

What does a Home Visiting Volunteer do? 

  • Offer friendship, guidance and both practical and emotional support to a family with a child/ren under 7 or expecting a baby.
  • Visit the family for around 2-4 hours per week and use their experience and understanding of family pressures to provide support according to the needs of that family.
  • Help parents to give their children the best start in life that they can, and help the family to become more confident, resilient and independent.

When family needs support it’s the volunteer who makes a difference!

What does it take to be a Home-Start Volunteer?

  • Volunteers are usually parents, grandparents or have parenting experience.
  • No special qualifications are needed, however, understanding the pressures which raising a family can bring, especially to someone in difficult circumstances, is necessary.
  • Have a warm and open personality with the ability to listen and communicate well. 
  • Have a non-judgmental approach towards people who may view things differently and who may be from different cultures, religion, gender, or sexual preferences.
  • Be reliable, able to respect confidentiality, and able to commit to weekly visits.
  • Attend our free preparation course which is held once per week for 12 weeks.

There are 168 hours in the week – can you spare 2-4? 

There is no “typical family” just as there is no “typical volunteer”.

What are the benefits of being a Home-Start Volunteer? 

  • You will gain hands on experience by working with and supporting families where they may be difficulties around mental or physical health issues, relationships or loneliness and isolation.
  • You will gain increased knowledge of child development and services in your area which can provide support.
  • You will gain experience that can help you to develop or change your career, as we can provide references after 6 months of matched volunteering.
  • Further learning and development opportunities are available, some of which can lead to accredited qualifications . View more about our learning and development…
  • Regular support sessions are given by your coordinator.
  • New friendships can be formed from families, other volunteers and Home-Start staff – join a welcoming team.
  • Most importantly you can enjoy a real sense of doing something worthwhile and being part of your community in a positive way.
A Volunteer talking to a family on their doorstep

Here are some Volunteer Journeys

The Process of Being a Volunteer

Once an enquiry is received the volunteer recruitment coordinator will arrange an initial volunteering chat.

  1. Initial Volunteer Chat – Once an enquiry is received the volunteer recruitment coordinator will arrange an initial volunteering chat about ways to volunteer, expectations of being a volunteer and an outline of our recruitment process.
  2. Volunteer Questionnaire – After the initial chat, the applicant will be given a questionnaire to complete as part of our recruitment process.
  3. HomeVisit – For our befriending roles, once we receive the completed questionnaire a home visit will be carried out as part of our safer recruitment procedure.
  4. References & DBS – References will be sought, and DBS applications sent in preparation to attend our preparation training programme.
  5. Preparation Course – Attendance on our free 10-week preparation course which will cover a variety of topics related to the befriending role that will enable you with the skills, knowledge and expectations surrounding volunteering. Once this has been completed a volunteer will then be matched with a family.

Volunteer Application Form

Volunteer Testimonials for the Preparation Course

“I can thoroughly recommend it. I found the course totally thought provoking and it has given me a real focus to get involved in helping families with Home-Start Leeds”

Volunteer Cathy

“This is the second time I have been on the Preparation Course, as my first time was some years ago now, and the latest one was even more informative and really relevant to the issues faced by today’s families. The course gives you clear situation examples that help you understand how you can support a family!”

Volunteer Paris

“I found the whole 10 week course absolutely thought provoking. The real-life case studies really helped you understand how you can use your life-experiences to support families.”

Volunteer Rachael

“The course helped me understand the relevance of my own experiences as a parent and how I can use these to help and support others.”

Volunteer Kirsty

 “I was a bit nervous at first after I had signed up for the course, as a 10 week commitment seemed a bit of a challenge! How wrong I was! The course just flew by and I found that each of the sessions was well thought through and allowed all the group to talk through and share views on the case studies. We had 3 excellent Course facilitators who brought just the right balance of seriousness, fun and practicality to the various sessions”.

Volunteer KJ