Volunteering with us is exciting, rewarding work and requires energy, commitment, reliability, creativity - and a sense of humour! We will offer you the opportunities to develop new skills, meet new people, feel valued and have fun,with the support of staff committed to ensuring that they get the most from their volunteering experience. You can volunteer with us: as a Home-Visiting Volunteer, as part of our Management Committee or as a Charity Shop volunteer (see our charity shop section).
'I didn't know what to expect at first when I became a volunteer, but my expectation were exceeded!. I made new friends on the course and felt well supported by my Coordinator during my time with Home-Start' Sue, Volunteer
To become a home-visiting volunteer you must undertake a 9 week Preparation Course. These courses run at least four times a year in different locations around Redcar, Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees.
Each session run for one day a week between 9.30am to 2.30pm (excluding school/bank holidays). You will cover a wide variety of topics which will help prepare you for your role as a home-visiting volunteer. Take a look at our sessions here.
Forthcoming preparation courses will be held in our Training Suite at Brambles Farm Middlesbrough, the Next Intake is October 4th.
Home-Start home-visiting volunteers are usually parents themselves. We need people from all ages (age 18+), backgrounds and genders! No qualifications are necessary - just listening skills, understanding, discretion, commitment to the families you visit and a willingness to share your parenting experience. We ask our home-visiting volunteers to commit to two to three hours per week to visit a family. These visits are arranged for a mutually convenient time
In our family support work it is essential that all volunteers within our scheme are thoroughly vetted. We ask all potential volunteers to give the names of two referees and a Criminal Records Bureau check is also made. All potential home-visiting volunteers must undertake a volunteer preparation course (approximately 40 hours) which is run during school hours, after which they are required to sign a Code of Conduct as a Home-Start volunteer.
Volunteers are fully re-imbursed for out of pocket expenses incurred whilst on Home-Start business. Home-Start volunteers work with and alongside a family - parent to parent. 'Being with' not 'doing to'. Once a volunteer is matched with a family, the Project Organiser will keep in close contact - initially by telephone after the first couple of visits to the family, and then with regular one-to-one support sessions, so that if there are any difficulties or problems, they are picked up straight away. No home-visiting volunteer is ever given a family and just left to get on with it. There is always regular contact with the Coordinator, and a list of people to contact in an emergency.
What happens if I have to support a family I don't get on with?
The matching process is done very carefully; this simply shouldn't happen but if this happens, then the volunteer will be withdrawn and another found.
Will I be left on my own once I am matched with a family?
No! The Family Support Coordinator will speak to you after your first visit to make sure everything was alright. You will be given a contact telephone number which you can ring for any advice. You will meet with the Coordinator for support sessions on a regular basis
What if I start then realise its not for me?
The preparation course is designed to give you a 'taste' of what it's like to work with us. It will help you to decide whether Home-Start is for you or not. There is no pressure on you to become a volunteer if you feel it is not what you are looking for. You may be able to support the project in another way.
What if the family needed me at a time I couldn't manage?
You arrange visits to suit you and the family. Your availability will be made clear to the family from the start.
Our preparation course comes to an end in November