During this time Alan has overseen some difficult times and many changes within our organisation and has always been calm and steadying, determined to support the staff team and volunteers to provide the very best service to families throughout Kirklees. Alan’s hard work, commitment and enthusiasm for the organisation will be missed and we thank him for his many years of service. We wish him the very best for his retirement.
Our new Chair of Trustees is Lynda Pickering, former Vice-Chair who has all the knowledge, energy and experience to continue taking Home-Start Kirklees forward.
Home-Start Kirklees staff and trustees would like to say a huge thank you to one of our volunteers who has given us 9 years of commitment in supporting families through-out Kirklees. Last month we sadly said goodbye and paid tribute to one of our amazing home visiting volunteers Karen Thomas.
Karen joined us on our preparation course in January 2011 and has, since that time, supported 10 families. Karen has done an amazing job supporting families in lots of different circumstances & with differing needs, Karen helped a lone father with multiple children under the age of five, a lone mother with multiple children in the age range of 17 years down to 8 months old. Families with multiple births, families where there have been issues for parents around anxiety and depression, families where parents had left abusive relationships and were learning to live independently, families who needed practical help and emotional support.
When we first met Karen she was taking a short career break and very keen to have some volunteering experience. Karen’s back ground was in teaching and she worked with children with additional educational needs and also with young offenders as a special needs co-ordinator.
Home-Start operations manager Michelle Steadman says ‘When I first met Karen and discussed her skills and abilities I knew we potentially had another quality volunteer on our hands with lots of life skills a little time to spare, Karen was a busy mother with two teenage children and many other time consuming tasks to complete in her day to day life. However, Karen took up the mantle and Home-Start were very lucky to have her on board.
Karen says ‘I have really loved my time volunteering with Home-Start – seeing parents overcome difficult times in their lives and watching their children benefit from the help and support we are able to give is extremely rewarding. I have felt very well supported as a volunteer and would recommend this experience to anyone who is toying with the idea of volunteering. I was able to take breaks and time out over the 9-year period when my own commitments took over and then was always coaxed back to take another family. Home-Start volunteering is a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in families and raising young children with a few hours a week to spare.’
Michelle adds – Families have reported feeling ‘brighter’ and more in control of their lives having benefited from Home-Start support. Children have thrived under the care and support from our volunteers and it is safe to say that the time and dedication Karen has committed to supporting families for Home-Start has paid off with parents overcoming many difficult issues enabling them to better care for themselves and their children and to give their children a much improved start in life which they may not have otherwise had.
Thank you Karen and to all our wonderful volunteers at Home-Start – Working alongside you all helping families within the Kirklees community to thrive continues to be an absolute pleasure!’
For more information about volunteering please call us on 01484 421925. Our next volunteer training sessions will start on 14th May 2019 and run in parent friendly hours 9.30am – 2.30pm one day per week for 7 weeks, with a break for the half term holiday.
We are starting a training course for new volunteers on Tuesday 14th May 2019.
It will run every Tuesday until 2nd July but there will be a break for May half term. It runs 9.30am – 2.30pm and is at our offices in Dalton, Huddersfield.
You’ll receive training on how Home-Start works including confidentiality, Safeguarding children, listening skills, personal safety and Nurturing Parents.
Once trained you can be matched to a family and support them at home, offering non-judgmental, practical and / or emotional support to families who are going through a period of stress. You can make a huge difference to the lives of families and children. Your travel expenses will be paid and you receive full support and ongoing training from our co-ordinator team.
If you’d like to find out more, please give us a call on 01484 421925
Home-Start Kirklees has been going since 1999 and we believe that children need a secure and happy environment to thrive, and that parents are the key to providing that: it’s just that sometimes they need a bit of help. Through our trained parent volunteers we have supported over 1500 families who are struggling to cope with post-natal illness, disability, bereavement, the illness of a parent or child, or social isolation. Our volunteers visit families in their own homes, giving practical and emotional support.
But we need another kind of volunteer – trustees. Trustees are men and women who help guide our local Home-Starts and contribute to their leadership and direction so staff can manage the day-to-day operations and home-visiting volunteers can get on with the job of supporting families.
What kind of people are Home-Start trustees?
Our trustees come from all walks of life, bringing their experience and individual skills. The kind of skills that are in demand are business or personnel management, finance and fundraising, IT and communications. But you don’t need special qualifications to be a trustee – common sense, flexibility, time, an ability to work as part of a team, a willingness to learn, understanding of the pressures facing parents today and a genuine interest in supporting parents in your community are just as important to us.
What is a Home-Start trustee?
A Home-Start trustee is a volunteer who sits on the trustee board of a local Home-Start. Each local Home-Start is an independent charity and being a trustee is all about the governance of the charity – planning how it will achieve its goals. Trustees aren’t responsible for the day-to-day running of a Home-Start but they do carry out a wide range of duties and are responsible for making the charity effective, providing overall direction and the sound management of funds. Being a trustee can be hard work and you will need to be able to respond to demand but it is also rewarding, giving many opportunities for personal development and the chance to give something back to your local community. Without volunteer trustees our local Home-Starts couldn’t exist and families and children wouldn’t get the support they need.
What does a board of trustees do?
Their job is to ensure the resources of the charity are used effectively, so Home-Start can do what it is meant to (support families and children). The board is led by its chair, and trustees are jointly responsible for good governance and employment of the staff team. The board works with staff and advisors to find the funding needed, develop Home-Start’s services, monitor and report on how well the charity is doing, and file returns to regulatory bodies. The board’s activities are varied and challenging, but also hugely rewarding. Working with staff and home-visiting volunteers, the board of trustees has a positive impact on the lives of local families.
How much of my time will it take?
Home-Start trustees should expect to spend at least 8-10 hours a month on their duties. It’s an important role, carrying legal and financial responsibilities, which will require time and commitment. A trustee who takes on added commitment – perhaps as treasurer or chair – will have to give more time to the role. But Home-Start trustees are supported all the way. You will have a thorough induction, be invited to national training courses and events, have access to a Home-Start intranet full of information and guidance on all aspects of running a local Home-Start and have the skills and knowledge of staff, your fellow trustees and Home-Start UK – which exists to provide information, support and guidance to local Home-Starts.
What will I get out of it?
Trustees volunteer because they want to be involved in their community and improve the lives of parents and children. What they get back is the satisfaction of knowing that they have helped make a real difference. In many cases, being a trustee can enhance an individual’s skills and knowledge, build confidence and provide many opportunities for personal development for future employment, provide a focus for an active retirement or a sense that their spare time has been put to good use.
What should I do next?
Contact us for more information or an informal chat about being a trustee. There is no commitment at this stage. Full details on how to apply will be given to you if you decide you would like to help run your local Home-Start. If you do decide to join us, you will have to undergo a DBS check and provide references as part of your application.