Many parents need help, friendship, advice or support during those early years when children are young. There is no rulebook for raising a family and sometimes it can seem overwhelming, particularly if your family is going through difficult times.

If you are a parent with at least one pre-school child under the age of five then we may be able to help you

Do you ever feel like this?

  • Isolated in your community, with no family nearby and struggling to make friends
  • Struggling with post-natal illness but finding it difficult to talk to anyone about it
  • Finding it hard to cope because of your own or your child’s illness
  • Hard hit by the death of a loved one
  • Struggling with emotional and physical demands of having young children, perhaps twins or triplets
  • Struggling to cope with relationship problems
  • Tired, unhappy, exhausted

A Home-Start volunteer may be able to help

A volunteer is someone who won’t judge you; someone who can provide a shoulder to cry on; someone to play with or read to your children whilst you peg out the washing or have a much-needed rest; someone to offer practical support like getting out to the park or medical appointments, or finding other sources of help if you have complex problems; someone you can simply talk to. You decide what kind of support suits you best.

If you ask for Home-Start’s help you can be sure of total confidentiality. There is no stigma attached to Home-Start’s help – the fact that many families refer themselves to us is proof of that. All Home-Start’s staff and volunteers have an enhanced level criminal records check.

After asking for our support you will meet with one of our co-ordinators who will carefully match you with one of our volunteers. Our volunteers, who all have parenting experience, will visit you for a couple of hours a week and give you both emotional and practical help.

Safeguarding & Promoting the Welfare of Children

All Home-Start support is free and confidential. The only exception to our rule of confidentiality is where we have concerns about the welfare of a child, or to prevent harm to an adult. In these circumstances, information will be shared with the appropriate authorities. We can carry on supporting parents even if we have had to involve other agencies because of concerns about a child. The Home-Start co-ordinator who visits you can give you more details about this.

Nurturing Parents

Home-Start, in partnership with Nurturing Parents, have trained volunteers to work with parents, giving them the support they need which enables them to develop a close and loving relationship with their child. The focus is on working with families both during pregnancy and in the early weeks so that their children get a good start in life. This will help families feel more prepared and better able to cope both during pregnancy and in the early weeks, months and years.

Volunteers will work with families to:

  • help them create a LOVING relationshp
  • help families to PREPARE for and WELCOME a new baby
  • ensure that there is effective COMMUNICATION at all levels
  • maintain PHYSICAL CLOSENESS once the baby is born
  • have FUN and PLAY with their baby/children

Home-Start volunteers will be using the knowledge, experience and skills they have to support families using the Nurturing Parent principles. This might be with existing families who have babies and young children, or new families who are referred and would benefit from the support.


We are always keen to receive feedback on our services and regularly ask families and volunteers for their views on how we can improve our service.

Should you wish to read our complaints policy, please click here