Volunteer for Home-Start Cambridgeshire

By volunteering just a few hours each week you can transform the lives of young children and their parents in your community.

Volunteer for Home-Start Cambridgeshire

No special qualifications are necessary to become a Home-Start volunteer, but volunteers are usually parents or grandparents with an interest in, and experience of, young children and family life. We welcome volunteers from all sections of the community.

Talking and listening can empower families to overcome their difficult situations. Volunteers are offered on-going training and support activities including specialist speakers and visits to family support services, as well as informal social gatherings.

What it takes to be a Home-Start Volunteer

 

  • be a parent or have parenting experience.
  • have a positive attitude to working with people of any gender, family status or 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 non-judgmental attitude.
  • be clear about confidentiality and when a confidence remains so, but be able to decide when disclosure of a confidence is essential to the well-being of a child.
  • be reliable and understand the importance of reliability to the family.
  • have good communication skills, including an ability to listen.
  • understand the need for support.
  • have a warm and open personality and a sense of humour.
  • have time and enthusiasm for Home-Start.
  • be able to work as a member of a team.
  • be prepared to keep records as requested by the scheme.

Do you have what it takes to be a Home-Start volunteer?  Are you keen to help parents and children in your community? Please download an application form to start your journey transforming lives in your area.

Volunteer stories

Lesley

When I left my job as a midwife I really missed the contact I had with families. I had worked closely with Home-Start throughout my professional career so contacting them about volunteering seemed a good way to maintain involvement with families...

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Imogen

I decided to volunteer with Home-Start after seeing an advert at our local swimming pool. I knew how it felt to be a new mum and how it would be nice for a little bit of help. The families I have gone into have varied from multiple births, domestic...

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Meg

I visited my first family in October 1990. I had seen an article in the Cambridge Evening News about a recruitment drive where the only criteria for being accepted were parenting skills and attending a six week course. The course was excellent and...

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Volunteer FAQs

HOME-START VOLUNTEERS USUALLY FIND THEIR WORK WITH HOME-START REWARDING AND FULFILLING.

HOME-START WORKS FOR FAMILIES AND FOR VOLUNTEERS.

HOW DO I BECOME A HOME-START VOLUNTEER?

Contact us by post, phone, email or via our website. A co-ordinator will arrange a visit so that they can tell you more about Home-Start.

IS THERE ANY AGE LIMIT?

No, the only stipulation for becoming a volunteer is that you are a parent or have parenting experience.

WILL I NEED REFERENCES?

You will be asked to provide the names of two people for personal references. You will also need to complete a form for the Disclosure and Barring Service. Schedule One offenders will not be approved; other issues will be considered on an individual basis.

WILL I GET ANY TRAINING?

You will attend a Preparation Course, which usually consists of eight sessions during term times and fits in with the school day.

WILL I GET MY EXPENSES PAID?

Yes, travelling expenses are reimbursed when you visit your family.

WHAT DOES THE COURSE COVER?

It covers topics such as the role of the volunteer, the Home-Start approach, relationships and listening skills. It provides a general knowledge of local community resources, both statutory and voluntary.

DO I HAVE TO PASS THE COURSE?

There are no tests and you have the opportunity to talk with the co-ordinators throughout the course. Sometimes it may be mutually decided that the time is not right for you to start visiting.

IS THERE ANY FURTHER TRAINING?

Yes, Safeguarding Children training is a regular commitment and you will also have the opportunity to attend ongoing training sessions on topics suggested by volunteers or co-ordinators.

WHAT DO VOLUNTEERS DO?

Volunteers visit families on a regular basis, usually weekly, offering friendship, support and practical help, as appropriate.

WHAT IS THE COMMITMENT?

On average about two – three hours per family per week but this may vary.

 

HOW MANY FAMILIES WILL I VISIT?

Volunteers usually visit one or two families depending on the amount of time the volunteer can commit to the scheme.

WHAT SUPPORT IS OFFERED?

Every volunteer has individual support from the co-ordinators.

WHO DECIDES WHICH FAMILIES I SHALL VISIT?

It is the co-ordinator’s job to ‘match’ the volunteer with the family.

ARE THERE OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR VOLUNTEERING WITHIN HOME-START?

Yes, there are often other opportunities available for trained volunteers.

Volunteer testimonials

I’ve had a few people ask me why I volunteer and the answer is simple – I remember how hard it was being a mum myself and if visiting a family for a few hours a week makes life easier for them then it makes the work I do worthwhile.

Volunteer, Cambridgeshire

For a small investment of time the reward of seeing a family move forward and gain confidence to cope with the various demands of parenting.

Volunteer, Cambridgeshire

It was very rewarding to hear Mum tell me that she trusted me and valued what I said to her. I saw her grow in confidence, get knocked back and then begin to grow again. It is amazing how just 2-3 hours a week can sometimes make a huge difference to a family.

Volunteer, Cambridgeshire

I remember as a young mum the need for a break. It would have been great to have a volunteer! Now, it’s fabulous to be that volunteer!

Volunteer, Cambridgeshire

An immense satisfaction of watching children develop and the privilege of being invited into the family home.

Volunteer, Cambridgeshire

Other ways to volunteer for Home-Start

 

Share your skills to help our work

If being a Peer Support Volunteer isn’t for you, you may be able to help us in others ways. Many have volunteered their time and skills for:

  • supporting family groups & outings
  • administration work
  • music, craft and storytelling
  • healthy eating sessions
  • fundraising
  • digital promotion
  • and so much more

You may also be able to help in ways we haven’t thought about yet.

So if you want to get involved, get in touch and let us know what you have in mind.

Join us as a Trustee to help shape the future of our work with families

Our Trustees provide essential leadership, guidance and governance from their own professional or lived experiences. They also play an important role as ambassadors for our work and can offer particular skills to the organisation (like human resources, information management or finance, for example). We welcome interest from those who can be passionate about our work with parents, children, families and the community.

Importantly, the Board of Trustees should reflect the communities in which we work. We already benefit from a variety of skills, experiences and backgrounds and now need to add to that dynamic and creative team.

The minimum commitment as a Trustee is a few hours each month, to attend meetings or to engage in Board discussions via email and online forums. Further opportunities to get involved are possible too, so we can be flexible to suit individual motivations to volunteer.

If you are interested in finding out more about the opportunity to join us, please contact us to arrange an informal chat.

Become a Home-Start Volunteer Today

Home-Start’s team of trained volunteers make sure a child’s early years count. By volunteering just a few hours each week you can transform the lives of young children and their parents in your community.

 

Find out moreDownload application form