About Home-Start Kirklees

Home-Start Kirklees is a voluntary organisation committed to promoting the welfare of families with at least one child under five years of age.

Who we are

For many years Home-Start Kirklees has worked across communities to provide support for families with young children who are experiencing difficulties.

We recruit and train volunteers to offer practical and emotional support in the homes of families who are struggling to cope for a variety of different reasons.

Helping families in Kirklees since 1999

Families helped

Children supported


What we do

Home-Start Kirklees’ volunteers work alongside families to give support to help people regain the confidence to be the parents they want to be. The support Home-Start volunteers give is non-judgemental, compassionate and confidential. We work with families to build on their strengths and give them the support that they tell us that they need. Our volunteers work support parents, in their own homes, to help them cope with the stresses and strains of life and make sure they have the skills, confidence and strength they need to nurture their children.

 The support we offer is as individual as the families themselves

 Our impact within our local communities is far reaching, helping to reduce isolation and loneliness, improving mental health of adults and children, building healthy relationships and supporting more nurturing environments. We assist families to become more resilient, confident and connected.

 Please get in touch  with us to find out how Home-Start Kirklees can help.

Areas we cover

 We work throughout the whole of Kirklees

Home Start Kirklees 20th Anniversary

“Home-Start raises self-confidence, improves social networks, reduces difficult behaviour on the part of the child and improves mental and physical health” – Every Child Matters Government Green Paper.

Case studies

Gemma’s story

Gemma’s story

I was referred to Home-Start Kirklees by my child’s nursery because I was struggling with my children and their behaviour. This was affecting my own...

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Julie’s story

Julie’s story

When I contacted Home-Start I was in a bad place, exhaustion I cannot describe. I was just trying to find my feet with our new home after fleeing a...

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Adrian’s story

Adrian’s story

When I first met my partner, who was pregnant and fleeing a violent marriage, I knew that I would potentially become a dad to her child. I was...

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Maria’s story

Maria’s story

I was referred to Home-Start by my Health Visitor. I felt socially isolated, and was struggling with anxiety and depression. I didn’t feel I had...

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Samira’s story

Samira’s story

After fleeing domestic abuse, I was struggling to cope for so many reasons. My little boy was only a couple of months old when we had to leave home...

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Kate’s story

Kate’s story

I am mum to three children, two of them are under five and have special educational needs. I was referred through to Home-Start Kirklees by my GP as...

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Anna’s story

Anna’s story

I gave birth to my third baby in December 2020. My 2 previous children had been still born. When the heath visitor came, she said I scored low on...

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Sarah’s story

Sarah’s story

I was referred to Home-Start by my midwife at a really challenging time in my life. My father had recently passed away, twelve days before my...

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Case study – Laura

Case study – Laura

I was a young parent aged 21 with 3 young children aged 3, 2 and 2 months old. The children’s father wasn’t around. He left me when I became...

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We run some very successful support groups for young parents under the age of 24 and their children, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund. For more information click here

Current vacancies

If you are interested in any of these opportunities please contact 01484 421925 or info@homestart-kirklees.org.uk

Additional Trustee Roles

We are currently looking to expand our Board of Trustees. A Trustee is a volunteer who shares responsibility for ensuring Home-Start Kirklees is working effectively and within charity law. We are keen to have a diverse range of skills and outlooks on the Board and would welcome interest from people of all ages, backgrounds, and communities (aged 18 and above). You will be supported by an experienced trustee.

If this sounds like the right opportunity for you or you would like more information, please email info@homestart-kirklees.org.uk to arrange an informal discussion or contact the office on 01484 421925.

Family support volunteers

Home-Start supports families across our communities who have young children and are facing difficulties, making sure a child’s early years count.

Our Volunteers are trained and given expert support from our staff team so that they can provide the best support for parents and their children.

Through a careful matching process, Home Visiting Volunteers can build a strong and trusting relationship with a family they may go on to support for many months.

We help families from all backgrounds through their most challenging times and just a couple of hours a week can transform the lives of parents and their children.

Our Volunteers provide non-judgmental, compassionate and confidential support, giving families the right help at the right time and in a way that suits them.

By volunteering your time and experiences for just a few hours each week you can even change lives, including your own. We know from research the benefits to our volunteers; in developing new skills, building confidence and relationships and also supporting training and placements for work and study.

Visit our Volunteer Page for more information and get in touch.

Group Volunteers

Home-Start Group volunteers offer regular support, friendship and practical help at our weekly groups for our supported parents. Locations and times of the sessions vary.

Responsibilities include –

  • Assisting Group Co-ordinators in the preparation of the group environment with play activities
  • Assisting in food preparation where needed
  • Assisting in activity preparation and delivery
  • Assisting Group Co-ordinators to facilitate delivery of key messages in planned sessions.

Members of staff lead group sessions and group volunteers work alongside. You would be fully supported by a Group co-ordinator and travel expenses are paid.

For more information and to apply – telephone 01484 421925 or e-mail info@homestart-kirklees.org.uk



Become a member

Why become a member of Home-Start Kirklees
Members can make a real difference to struggling families and children. They participate in a like-minded community, helping to shape the future direction of the charity through consultation and feedback. There are lots of benefits of becoming a member including:
• They participate in electing other members to become trustees.
• They are invited to attend member events and are kept up to date with news and developments by receiving regular copies of our supporter bulletin.
• They attend annual general meetings and other/extra ordinary general meetings
• They can be consulted and agree to any proposed changes to our governing document
• They can see the minutes of meetings.
• They can call general meetings (upon a written request signed by 10 members which states the purpose of the meeting) and can put resolutions for a vote at general meetings

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, then please email info@homestart-kirklees.org.uk for more information.





Our Staff Team

Kerri Flanagan – Director

Michelle Steadman – Operational Manager

Amy O’Neill – Business Development Manager

Emma Franks – Administration & Finance Manager

Sarah Christian – Senior Co-ordinator

Shabana Amin – Co-ordinator

Christie Lanquetin – Co-ordinator

Rachel Gordon – Co-ordinator

Kate Cooper –  Co-ordinator

Marina Taylor – Senior Group Co-ordinator

Rosanna Todd – Group Co-ordinator

Maggie Baines – Group Co-ordinator

Amy Cooper –  Family Support Worker

Katie McCrea – Group Worker

Katy White – Family Worker

Mandy Wain – Administrator

Heidi O’Shea – Volunteer Recruitment & Development Co-ordinator

Our trustees

Vanessa Stirum - Chair
Vanessa Stirum joined Home-Start as a trustee in 2016. She worked in the probation service for 25 years and has been working as a divorce mediator across West and South Yorkshire for the past 10 years.
This has been combined with non-executive roles in the NHS stretching back to 1992, her most recent being a lay member of greater Huddersfield GP commissioning group. This gives her a good understanding of the current funding landscape.
On a personal level Vanessa is married and lives in Almondbury with her husband. All her children are grown up and she now has three grandchildren who she is lucky enough to see on a regular basis which is keeping her very fit!
Vanessa believes Home Start has a bright and exciting future thanks to the fantastic contribution made by staff, trustees, volunteers and families.
David Mason - Deputy Chair

DavidDavid has lived in the Holme Valley for over 50 years.  He is married with two grown sons.  He has been a director of several companies with over 30 years’ experience at board level in both the public and private sectors.  His career took him all over the world working for a large international consultancy and other international organizations such as the UN, USAID and the European Commission.  He has significant experience of both in the UK and abroad of improving business systems’ economy, efficiency and effectiveness.  He joined Home-Start in 2016 as our Treasurer.

Andrew Smith - Treasurer

Andrew is a Yorkshireman at heart.  Born and raised in Ilkley, he moved to Huddersfield in 2008.  After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, he has worked for various SMEs throughout Yorkshire, progressing to board level in 2015.  He has significant experience within the private sector roles working in a wide range of industries from residential, commercial and industrial property to wholesale fruit and veg.  Andrew is currently employed as the Financial Director for Holmfirth based Accu and joined Home-Start in 2023.


Karl Yates

Karl has worked in a variety of industries. After training as a craftsman back in the 1970s Karl became a supervisor and then qualified as an engineer, before moving into a number of senior management positions. Diverse roles have enabled him to gain skills in lean manufacturing, continuous improvement, risk and safety management, contract management – all the while developing people skills through supervision, managing, leading, coaching and mentoring. Alongside core responsibilities Karl has enjoyed sponsoring LGBT forums, Women in the Organisation, and piloting the introduction of a reverse mentoring scheme for executives and senior managers, promoting an inclusive work environment.

Outside of work is married with three daughters, three step-sons and two grandchildren. He is a big rugby fan, ex-player and now ex-coach. He particularly enjoys DIY and the outdoors. He is a frustrated golfer, and keen to spend more time travelling and sea-fishing.

Clare Mulgan

Clare worked throughout her career as a social worker and manager in Local Authorities and a large national charity. Originally from London, she has worked in London, Suffolk, Yorkshire and the North East, having made the move to Huddersfield in 1989, where she has raised her family and settled happily into her adopted home.

Over the years, Clare has seen all sides of the commissioning process, having been responsible for service delivery, contract management, business development and commissioning. Clare believes passionately in supporting the voluntary sector to deliver and promote good quality early help and preventive services. 

Now that she has retired, she is keen to put her experience and insights to good use. She will combine the trustee role with other interests such walking, gardening, campervan life and travel. She is excited to be joining Home Start Kirklees as a trustee, knowing of its excellent reputation for delivering support to children and families.

Julie Grindley

Julie has recently moved to Yorkshire with her husband Tony to be closer to her 2 grown up children after living in Lincolnshire for 20 years. Julie has lived abroad during her childhood and married life with the RAF and has lived in various communities in the UK. Julie continues to work for Lincolnshire County Council on a part time basis as part of her retirement plan at management level. Julie has run her own business and has also worked in the private and voluntary sector.

Her career within Children’s Services spans over 20 years where she has worked with schools, the childcare Sector and partners to develop high quality sustainable provision. Julie was part of the management team responsible for the development of Lincolnshire’s Sure Start Children’s Centres, building  sufficient childcare infrastructure and implementing the  Extended Schools programme. Julie has experience of funding, premises, marketing, data systems and is passionate about partnerships and collaboration.

Having previously worked with Home Start Julie saw first-hand the amazing work and the impact it had on families and young children and wanted to use her time and skills in a trustee role and is delighted and proud to be a part of the H-S Kirklees team.

Julie enjoys travelling, the sun, swimming, rugby, pubs and quizzing. She also loves a project.


We are delighted that we have been recently re-awarded the Kirklees Volunteering Quality Award. The award recognises that we value our volunteers and provide them with a high quality experience with good quality practice standards in place. It is valid for 3 years from December 2022 and the panel is made up of members from Volunteering Kirklees, Kirklees Council and Volunteering Kirklees Network.

We have also been awarded Level 2 in ‘Quality for Health’, assessed through Voluntary Action Calderdale (VAC) and Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group. The award provides evidence that Home-Start Kirklees is well-managed, delivering high quality services and that the outcomes achieved are driven by need in the community. This award was originally gained in November 2019 and has been reassessed and renewed in November 2022.

In March 2018 during our last Home-Start UK Quality Assurance evaluation we also gained Outstanding status.


Become a Home-Start Volunteer Today

Home-Start’s team of trained volunteers make sure a child’s early years count. By volunteering just a few hours each week you can transform the lives of young children and their parents in your community.


Find out moreVolunteer application form