Our volunteers, who visit parents at home, giving emotional and practical help, are the heart of our charity. With parenting experience themselves, they go through a training programme and have an enhanced criminal records check before they are matched with a family.
The trustees, who manage Home-Start North Dorset, are also volunteers. They receive special preparation for their role within the charity too.
All our volunteers complete a 10 week / 40 hour volunteer training preparation course before starting to visit families. In addition volunteers can choose to get the course accredited by the Open College Network (OCN) by completing a few written assignments.
If you are interested in joining us for this course and becoming a volunteer for Home-Start North Dorset, download our Volunteer Application Form.
Our volunteers find the experience of supporting a family rewarding. Many volunteers find that confidence in their own skills is boosted and that it helps them on the path to further education or work.
Would I Make a Good Home-Visiting Volunteer?
All of our volunteers are parents themselves or have had substantial parenting experience. As such our volunteers understand the challenges of family life.
Our volunteers need to be able to offer 2-3 hours of their time, regularly each week and have some spare time to attend support meetings. We ask that volunteers make a year’s commitment to the scheme.
We will offer you a full training programme so that you feel confident to take on the role of a Home-Start visitor. The training covers such issues as what it is like to visit a family, confidentiality, safeguarding children, child development and play. If you choose, the training can lead to a formal qualification through the Open College Network (OCN).
We feel that it is important for volunteers not to be out of pocket whilst doing voluntary work. We will cover all travelling expenses however unfortunately we are unable to reimburse any child-care costs.
Once you have started visiting as a volunteer you will be well supported in your role. Trained and professional co-ordinators are on hand to offer support and help with any issues. You will also be invited to attend support meetings where you will have the opportunity to meet other volunteers and discuss issues.