Volunteering with us is exciting, rewarding work.
It requires energy, commitment, reliability, creativity - and a sense of humour! There are two main capacities in which you can volunteer with us: as a Home-Visiting Volunteer or to be part of our Board of Trustees.
We need people from all ages, backgrounds and genders! No qualifications are necessary - just listening skills, understanding, discretion, commitment to the families you visit and a willingness to share your (parenting) life experience.
We ask our home-visiting volunteers to commit between two and three hours per week to visit a family. These visits are arranged for a mutually convenient time Monday to Friday - or weekends if both parties would prefer.
Home-Start Lorn provides high quality, interactive and fun training for all volunteers. New volunteers are required to attend our approximately 20 hour Preparation Course (usually run during the day but occasionally in the evening as per requirement - 3 days consecutively in a normal session). After completing the preparation course volunteers have the option of completing further training in a number of areas. We also encourage and fund our volunteers to attend external training, for example Bookbugs in the home, Child Protection training, CBT and sleep training.
We also provide on-going training in topics such as Domestic Abuse, Supporting Parents Experiencing Depression and many others.
We often work with very vulnerable families. It is therefore essential that all volunteers within our scheme are thoroughly vetted. All volunteers, Home-Visitors and Trustees, must be members or willing to join the Scotland Disclosure PVG scheme - as well as giving two personal references.
Volunteers are fully reimbursed for all out of pocket expenses (including travel) that are incurred whilst on Home-Start business.
Our volunteers also have the opportunity to take part and attend family group gatherings, we host a number of weekly and monthly groups in local meeting places such as the The Hope Kitchen Oban, Dunollie Castle and The Bridge Cafe Oban. These groups helps to build social bonds and nurture the development of children's socialising skills, following what has been a turbulent lockdown where many families have been isolated.
How do I become a Home-visiting Volunteer?
Across the UK thousands of Home-Start volunteers visit families at home each week, supporting parents/carers in situations as diverse as isolation, bereavement, multiple births, illness, disability or who are just finding parenting a struggle. They provide non-judgemental practical and emotional support and help build the family’s confidence and ability to cope. Home-Start runs more services and has more volunteers supporting more families than any other family support charity in the UK.
All Home-Start schemes are supported by Home-Start UK, which provides training for staff, volunteers and trustees, information and guidance on governance, legal and human resources issues and help with fundraising and communications.
A quick guide to becoming a Home-Start Home-Visiting Volunteer:
- You can commit 2-3 hours of your time once a week
- You should be able to commit at least six months of your time to Home-Start
- You should have a non-judgemental attitude and understand about the pressures of bringing up a family
- You should enjoy meeting new people and spending time with adults and children
- You can commit to attending our free Volunteer Training Course (c. 20 hours over several days) before meeting your first family
- You can expect to be reimbursed travel expenses during training and while you support a family
- You must understand that your support for families is completely confidential
- You will have to become a member of the PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) scheme (paid for by Home-Start Lorn)
- You will be supported by your local Home-Start scheme Coordinators during the time you are visiting families