Homepage - Home Start Suffolk, Coastal

Volunteer for Home-Start East Ipswich & Coastal and make a difference to a family in your community.

What is Home-Start ?
Home-Start is a local charity which supports families. We recruit and train volunteers to help families with young children. Our volunteers, who know about being a parent, support other parents by visiting them in their own homes for a couple of hours each week. We also run family groups and hold social events for families.

What kind of families would I be helping?
All kinds of families can find it hard to cope for all sorts of reasons, maybe because of the illness or disability of a child or because of post-natal illness, bereavement or loneliness. At Home-Start we support any parent with young children who asks for our help, and has a need for support, and our supported families, like our volunteers, come from all walks of life.

Can my support and friendship really make a difference?
All parents know that those early years are vital in a child’s life and at Home-Start we believe parents have the key role in creating a secure childhood for their children. It’s just that sometimes they need a bit of help....your help.

Volunteer for Home-Start and make a difference to a family in your community
…your questions answered:

As a volunteer what would I actually do?
Usually you visit a family in their own home once a week for a couple of hours. How you help is really down to the family itself. Some might need some-one to talk to… others may need more practical support with meal planning and cooking, reading to the children, going to the local park, or finding out about local services. Volunteers however are not Cooks, Cleaners and Babysitters!!!

Do I need any qualifications to be a volunteer?
The only real ‘qualification’ is experience of bringing up children. Friendliness and a caring attitude are essential as well as an understanding of the pressures of parenting. We value people who don’t judge others; people who will respect the fact that they have been invited into a family’s home; people who will treat a mother or father as an equal.

Do volunteers get any training?
Yes, we give high priority to the recruitment, induction, training and support of all our volunteers. You will be supported during your training and through-out your contact with families.

What would I get out of volunteering for Home-Start?
Knowing you have helped; a boost to your self-esteem and confidence; even a foot on the ladder towards a job. We offer OCN accredited Level 1 & 2 training to preparing volunteers, and Level 3 training, as ongoing training to those who have volunteered for over 12months. We also hold Social events, and opportunities for our volunteers to get together.

Can I help without visiting families?
Yes. We also need volunteers to help run family groups and social activities and to help raise funds. We also need volunteer Directors to help manage their work.

"I have been a volunteer with Home-Start for about twelve months. After my ten week induction course I still had doubts about how much I would be able to offer a family in only three hours a week.

A year on I realise just how important it is for some families to have a special 'friend' on whom they can rely to be supportive, construc-tive and non-judgemental. With my family I attend a weekly singing group, swimming sessions and a local playgroup which Mum couldn't face doing on her own.

I have watched the little girl blossom as she embraces the new experiences. Home-Start provide both training and support for me as and when I need it.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year with Home-Start and look forward to many more."

Linda, a Home-Start East Ipswich & Coastal Volunteer


Some further information...

You must be a parent or have parenting experience (family support volunteers only)
As a Home-Start volunteer you will support a family by visiting them at home for around three hours, once a week.
You should be able to commit at least 1 year of your time to Home-Start.
You should have a non-judgemental attitude and understand about the pressures of bringing up a family
You will have to attend our free volunteer preparation course with other new volunteers before meeting your first family. Courses are available daytimes and evenings.
Travel expenses are paid during training and while you support a family
Training  formally recognised through accreditation with the open college network
You must understand that your support for families is completely confidential
You will have to undergo a Disclosure, and Barring check at Enhanced Level (DBS check)

You will be supported by the Home-Start East Suffolk Team during the time you are supporting families.

Are you thinking about becoming a Volunteer
and would like to know more?



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