A Pudsey volunteer’s story: Supporting parents and families

14 June 2016

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Home-Start Leeds is a family support charity that has been in Leeds since 1987, writes Volunteer Recruitment Worker Elly Click.

We support families who have at least one child under 7 or are expecting a baby. Our family support volunteers have visited thousands of children and their families over the years helping improve family life.

The Home-Start model of family support is unique. Volunteers visit families at home once a week for 3-4 hours for as long as that support is needed.

Families needing our help are incredibly diverse. The challenges they face range from poor mental health to debt issues, being an asylum seeker to the ups and downs of having a number of small children.

At the heart of what we do are trusting human relationships in which people have the chance to share and talk with someone who has the time to listen and will not judge them. The careful matching of families and volunteers to reflect everyone’s needs and interests is key to the success of the service.

Volunteers must attend the Home-Start preparation course. These are offered a number of times throughout the year, running day time and evening once a week for 15 weeks. All training is free. Volunteers have access to a free crèche when attending daytime preparation courses and training. All out of pocket expenses are reimbursed.

Volunteers receive excellent on-going training and support from our highly skilled team of paid co-ordinators.

A volunteer’s story

Chantelle lives in Pudsey. She is 25 years old and has been a Home-Start volunteer for four years. During that time Chantelle has supported five families.

Chantelle says:

“Volunteering has enabled me to gain a wealth of knowledge and experience relating to working with families with complex and multiple needs.

“By supporting parents and families they develop their own independence and the satisfaction of seeing them grow and make changes is indescribable.

“It is such a rewarding experience to be a volunteer and seeing where the family start and where they are when the volunteering draws to a close and knowing that even though it is the family that has made the changes you have been a constant support along the way. I would without a doubt recommend volunteering and have done to various people.”

As part of her volunteering Chantelle has successfully completed a Level 3 NVQ on “Working With Parents” and is now working towards an NVQ level 4 with support from Home-Start.

For many volunteers, their journey with Home-Start is the first step to building their confidence and self- esteem, and can be that first step into further training or paid work.

Volunteers are parents or have parenting experience, parents supporting parents a simple idea that works!

For more information about volunteering with Home-Start Leeds please call: 0113 244 2419 or email: office@home-startleeds.co.uk




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