Volunteering with Home-Start Newcastle Borough
What is expected of a Volunteer?
We have various volunteer roles at Home-Start Newcastle Borough, and the expectations of the amount of time each role requires can vary too, from 2 – 4 hours, once or twice a week helping in the office, or 3 hours a week on average for direct family support. Your availability and commitment you can give will determine what role you may find the best for you.
Can anyone be a volunteer?
Home-Start Newcastle Borough welcomes applications from a wide range of people, and we have a range of opportunities and roles in which you can provide help. However, we do like people to have some parenting experience in the roles where we provide direct support to our families.
If you are interested in helping our families directly, and your parenting experience is as a carer or an older sibling, or a step-parent, or even now as a grand-parent, that is fine, we recognise that families and parenting experience comes in all forms, or if you are not sure, just give us a call.
You won’t need to have previous work experience or qualifications, but you will need to be friendly and approachable, being non-judgemental is a great help too.
You need to be 18 or over, and because we'll invest in you (our training is really high quality), you need to see this not just as a short term role but something you're likely to do more long term, we often support our families for at least 6 months, and often much longer than that.
In order to safeguard our volunteers and families we require a criminal record check. If you have a criminal record, it won't necessarily stop you from becoming a volunteer. We’ll consider each case individually.
Get support every step of the way
In any of our roles, you will receive training in order to carry out your role. In our traditional family support role, you will receive in depth training to prepare you for supporting families and their children. When you start out, you will have the support of the Co-ordinator who will give you confidence you’re doing the right thing.
Learn to do something valuable
You’ll gain a range of new skills and the confidence to use them, including the ability to engage people and manage difficult conversations. Many employers value these kinds of skills.
What support and training will I get?
You'll be given high quality training to prepare you for the role. For the family support volunteer, this takes place over at least 4 separate sessions it may be run as group sessions or online, along with some digital topics and usually takes place during weekdays, and the occasional evenings or weekends. It typically takes a few months before you're ready to start volunteering.
You’ll also receive ongoing training several times a year to keep building your skills.
You will receive support from the volunteer co-ordinator, she will match you with the right family for your skills, and she will be with you at your first visit, and until you feel confident on your own.
We will arrange for you to have regular support meetings where you can discuss your families together and this will help you provide the right support, and she can check that you are ok too.
You will join a small band of volunteers, who meet up regularly to share experiences and support each other. This is currently virtually.
Sharing what’s happened with other Home-Start volunteers is a good way of dealing with anything you find difficult. (Our volunteers don’t share anything outside of Home-Start and that’s really important).
For more information on how the different volunteering opportunities available and how to become a Home-Start volunteer, please follow the links below: