Volunteering at Home-Start Runnymede and Woking
Our volunteers are usually parents themselves or have parenting experience, are all ages and come from all walks of life.
All volunteers initially attend a preparation course, usually one session per week for 6 sessions. They are required to provide two references and undergo an Enhanced Check from the Disclosure & Barring Service.
At the end of the course, volunteers will be matched to a referred family by the Home-Start Co-ordinator. Volunteers visit families weekly in their own home to provide the practical or emotional support that has been identified as being needed by that family. They may also accompany the family to a mother and toddler group, a session at their local Children’s Centre, to a doctor’s appointment, on outings or shopping if that is the support they need.
The Co-ordinator will continue to support the volunteer throughout the time they are visiting the family with regular support and supervision sessions and they will be invited to attend ongoing training sessions approximately 5 times per year, often with outside speakers on topics relevant to the support Home-Start offers. This offers an ideal opportunity for personal development and also a chance to meet up with other volunteers.
What our Home Visiting Volunteers DO
- Visit the family regularly, usually once a week for a couple of hours.
- Reassure parents that difficulties they experience are not unique to them.
- Encourage parents to use local resources
- Encourage parents, by highlighting the positive aspects of their parenting.
- Play with children – to help stimulate children, or to give the parent some space and time for themselves
- Help the family get out – perhaps to keep appointments, to a group, shopping or taking family to parks etc.
- Volunteers can share their own parenting experiences and quite often they can be a listening ear.
What our Home Visiting Volunteers DON’T DO
- Volunteers are not home helps
- Volunteers are not babysitters
- Volunteers are not a transport service
Out of pocket expenses are reimbursed.