If you have a particular skill, have retired or children are going to school and you have some spare time, a bit of energy and enthusiasm can go a long way in helping us...
Volunteering with us is extremely rewarding work. It requires energy, commitment, reliability, creativity... and a sense of humour! There are many families who need supporting, many families with complex needs, and we never have enough volunteers to support everyone that comes to our attention.
We welcome any enquiries for Home-Visiting volunteers, Family Group helpers and Trustee members.
Home-Start home-visiting volunteers need to be parents themselves and we need people from all ages, 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 three or four hours per week to visit a family. These visits are arranged for a mutually convenient time Monday to Friday - or weekends if both parties would prefer. Home-Start volunteers work with and alongside a family, parent to parent, being with and not doing to.
Once a volunteer is matched with a family, the coordinator will keep in close contact - initially by telephone after the first couple of visits to the family. There are then 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.
Our Family Group is run by Ally, our Group Worker, and she has various volunteers who help her to provide an environment that is welcoming and friendly to families. At the Family Group we have a volunteer cook to serve the families lunch, a kitchen helper and at least two volunteer play leaders.
The volunteer play leaders do not have to be parents but should have some experience in caring for children however qualifications in childcare are not required. Our volunteer play leaders assist Ally in providing play activities for the children which are appropriate to the age and stage of development. This role requires enthusiasm, a good sense of humour and a love of children. Each volunteer must be able to commit at least 3 hours a week on a regular basis.
Although we are part of the national organisation of Home-Start, each scheme is run independently. We have an agreement with Home-Start UK, which ensures that we abide by their Standards and Methods of Practice and follow the Home-Start ethos and quality guidelines.
The Trustees have overall responsibility for the management of the scheme; employment of staff and the general running of the scheme - although many of these tasks are, of course, delegated to the staff.
People who have an interest in what we do kindly give up their time to form our Trustee Board. Advisors from Health, Education and Social Work also attend our Board meetings.
Board members are elected at the Annual General Meeting, which is usually held in September. For anyone interested in becoming a Board member, some previous committee experience is desirable, but not essential as full induction and ongoing training will be available. The minimum requirement in relation to time commitment would be to attend our Board meetings, which occur approximately every six weeks.
Our Board meetings are very informal and hopefully you will get many benefits from becoming part of our organisation.
We have a number of groups which members may also wish to take part in:
- Personnel/Health & Safety
- Quality Assurance
- Events & Fundraising
- Public Relations
All potential volunteers are subject to an appropriate recruitment process to ensure the safety of the children and families we support. This includes an application form and the provision of two references.
We often work with very vulnerable families. It is therefore essential that all volunteers within our scheme are thoroughly vetted. We ask all potential volunteers to join the PVG Scheme (Protecting Vulnerable Groups Form formerly known as Disclosure Form).
Joining the PVG scheme alerts Home-Start Stirling to all conviction information, spent and unspent, and any other non-conviction information considered to be relevant by the police or other Government bodies.
We ask all potential Home-Visiting volunteers to attend our Preparation Course which will fully prepare you for the job of a Home-Start Stirling volunteer.
Our volunteers are fully re-imbursed for all out of pocket expenses incurred whilst on Home-Start business.
All potential volunteers need to attend the Preparation Course. The course is designed to prepare volunteers for home-visiting and covers a variety of issues that could potentially affect the families we support.
The Preparation Course is usually held one day per week for six or seven weeks. Overall, the length of the Course depends on the group size and the depth of the group discussions.
TYPICAL COURSE SESSIONS:
- Welcome and Introduction to Home-Start Stirling
- Sources of support to families. The importance of commitment
- Issues that may affect our families:
- domestic abuse
- Being a parent
- managing childrens' behaviour
- being a good listener
- child abuse
- child protection
- Being prepared for home-visiting.
During the Preparation Course potential volunteers are also given the opportunity to meet with current home-visiting volunteers.
After completing the Course each potential volunteer will undertake a final review which is kept informal and is carried out by the Senior Coordinator and a member of the Board of Trustees. When the review is complete and all the relevant paperwork is done, the volunteer is matched to a family and home-visiting begins!
All expenses incurred both during the preparation course and on home visiting are reimbursed. All volunteers can expect the continued support of the co-ordinator and the board.
If you would like to volunteer with us, please contact the office or use the ‘Contact Us’ form.