We know times are difficult currently with lives turned upside down and this can be an anxious and very unsettling time for all of us, but especially children who are suddenly without their usual routines. Home-Start North Dorset have kindly shared their tips and resources that can help to entertain children during this time and we have added in some Kirklees specific information. There are lots of links that you may find helpful. Please feel free to share it with friends and family.
Home-Start Kirklees will continue to support families safely throughout the Covid-19 situation. All volunteer visits and group support sessions are suspended for the time being and our staff are working remotely from home. Staff are offering support to families and volunteers via telephone sessions, texts and email. This is a challenging time for all of us and our priority is keeping our staff, volunteers and families safe whilst ensuring that we keep talking.
We know there is much uncertainty and anxiety about Corona virus in particular amongst children. We have been sent this booklet which explains the issue in a clear, child friendly way. Please feel free to download it to share with children in your care
We are pleased to share our short volunteering video with you. Huge thanks to all our volunteers who took part in the filming and shared their experiences of volunteering with us.
If you are interested in volunteering please give us a call on 01484 421925. We have 2 new training courses starting in January 2020
We have recently 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.
The assessment covered areas including Service User experience, Safeguarding, Effectiveness, Health Promotion, Equality & Diversity, Management, Governance, Outcomes and Impact. We met all of the criteria and areas of ‘excellent practice’ were highlighted in each. Observations from the assessor included:
“There is no doubt that the service is well managed and has a clear vision and strategic plan”
“The Trustees and Senior management team have a good overview of their service and the staff, volunteers and services users report a significant impact upon lives”
“Service users are actively involved in all areas of service planning and development, and this ensures that the widest needs of the community are met”
The award has enabled us to enhance our high standards of quality with a key focus on health outcomes for service users, confirming we are offering a person centred approach in our support, and that positive outcomes are achieved with robust policies and procedures in place. Working through the framework prompted us to delve deeper into some areas and explore whether there was scope to improve. Thank you to all staff, volunteers, trustees, parents and partners that contributed towards the assessment process – it was a real team effort and great testament to our commitment to delivering good quality services to Kirklees families.
We are pleased to share with stakeholders a new film produced by Home-Start Kirklees which celebrates our 20th anniversary as an independent charity. The footage was filmed at one of the young parents groups and the 20th anniversary afternoon tea event that was attended by families and volunteers last month.
Home-Start would like to take this opportunity to thank all volunteers, trustees, staff, practitioners, agencies, commissioners and donors past and present for their goodwill, support, generosity of time and partnership working over the last 20 years and we hope that this may long continue.
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.