Support For Families

At Home-Start Richmondshire we understand how tough parenting can be at the best of times. It can seem even more difficult if there are added pressures of exhaustion, depression, loneliness, inexperience, living away from friends and family, illness, financial worries or multiple births. Parents need friendship, encouragement, reassurance and practical help during the early years when children are young.

Home-Start Richmondshire has volunteers who can provide this friendship and support. They are parents themselves and they will come to your home each week for 2-3 hours to offer practical help and emotional support – whatever you need most.

If you think this would help, you live in Richmondshire, and have at least one child under the age of 5, then please do get in touch.

Our volunteers are special.

  • Our volunteers are special people. Special because they are all parents themselves and understand how difficult parenting can be. Special in that they want to give their time, friendship and support to make a positive difference to your family.
  • Our volunteers are carefully selected for their friendliness and understanding. All volunteers have to complete an application form, have an interview, submit references and have a DBS (formerly CRB check).
  • Our volunteers are trained. Whilst our volunteers come with lots of experience of parenting and many other skills, they all attend our ‘Preparation Course’. This is a comprehensive course which covers confidentiality, positive parenting, safeguarding and many other topics about family life.
  • Our volunteers respect your privacy. They never forget that you have invited them into your home.
  • Our volunteers are highly valued by us. Volunteers are the life blood of Home-Start Richmondshire so we support them in the best way we can. Our Home-Start Richmondshire Co-ordinators regularly meet confidentially with every volunteer on a 1:1 basis to support the volunteer in their work. We discuss progress and ideas as to how we can best support the family.
  • Our volunteers are trustworthy. All volunteers are bound by our Confidentiality Policy – this states that the volunteer will not discuss anything about the family with any person other than the Home-Start Richmondshire Co-ordinators. The only time this may be broken is if the volunteer has serious concerns about the welfare of a child and is not able to contact the Co-ordinators. They then have a responsibility to discuss their concerns with the appropriate agency.

What Home-Start Richmondshire volunteers will do:

  • Visit you every week for 2-3 hours in your home.

  • Listen, laugh or cry with you; always offering friendship, encouragement and reassurance.

  • Take you out; helping you to go out with the children, visit local places and have fun.

  • Help you find and access services that may be helpful.

  • Play with the children to give you a break to do something else.

  • Support you at appointments.

  • Be flexible; you decide each week how the volunteer can help.

What Home-Start Richmondshire volunteers will not do:

  • Childmind/Babysit – volunteers can’t look after the children whilst you go out.

  • Clean – if needed, volunteers can help you get on top of your house and can help to look after the children so that you can get on with jobs but they don’t do regular cleaning.

  • Taxi service – volunteers are happy to help you to go out to places and attend appointments but they are not there just to offer transport.

  • Take over or tell you what to do – volunteers are led by you as to how you would like to be supported. Volunteers can offer ideas and give you information but they will not tell you what to do.

  • Judge – volunteers are recruited for their ability to respect individuality and be non-judgemental.

Getting support from Home-Start Richmondshire

  • You can contact Home-Start Richmondshire yourself or you can be referred by a professional person or organisation.

  • Our Co-ordinators will contact you and visit you to give you more information about Home-Start Richmondshire and find out how we may be able to help you.

  • If you decide to go ahead (and it is always your decision) our Co-ordinators will find the best volunteer for you and arrange to introduce them to you. You and the volunteer can then decide the best time for visiting to start.

  • About 6 weeks after the volunteer has started visiting, our Co-ordinators will get in touch with you to find out how things are going. Then our Co-ordinators will visit you every 3 months to see how you are progressing and to find out if there is anything else with which you need support. Of course, you can contact the Co-ordinators at any time should you need to.

  • We will support you for as long as you need us.

Click here to read about how families have been helped by Home-Start Richmondshire.

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