About Us

Home-Start Lorn has been supporting families in the area since 1988. Our Home-Visiting volunteers offer friendly, practical support to families with at least one child under five years of age.

Family on SofaThe Home-Start Network

The Home-Start network consists of Home-Start UK and 337 affiliated schemes. Together they form the Home-Start service, delivering one-to-one support, friendship and practical help to young families.

The History of Home-Start

When Home-Start was founded in 1973 no-one involved in this unique parent-to-parent support service imagined that one local Home-Start in Leicester would be so effective and so popular with families that it would expand to more than 300 within 30 years. It did and now Home-Start is the UK's leading family support charity and is expanding into even more areas of the UK. See https://www.home-start.org.uk/ for further information.

Our Story

Home-Start Lorn was established in 1988. Since that date we have supported over 500 families and the organisation is well regarded by both local referrers and the families supported. We cover a very large rural area, stretching from the village of Kilmelford south of Oban to Appin in the North and Dalmally to the east. Since 2012 we have been supporting families on the island of Mull. Although often regarded by visitors as an ‘idyllic’ area, Lorn and Mull have the same problems as other towns and cities, but exacerbated by the physical geography e.g. it is not uncommon for a volunteer to have a 40 mile round trip to visit a family.

VolunteerIn 1989 -90 Home-Start Lorn employed 1 coordinator working 15 hours per week with a part-time admin worker, 10 hours per week and supported 14 families. In 2002, the management committee made the bold decision to employ a full-time coordinator and increase the admin hours to 20 per week resulting in an average of 35 families per year receiving the unique service offered by Home-Start volunteers.

In 2013, following a request from the Health Visitor on Mull, we applied to the Big Lottery for funding and in 2014 we were able to employ a coordinator to establish Home-Start on Mull.

Our latest development in 2018 has been the development of Big Hopes Big Future – this exciting new project recognises the importance of family and home environment on children’s readiness to make the transition to nursery and/or school.

Mission and Beliefs

Home-Start believes that children need a happy and secure childhood and that parents play the key role in giving their children a good start in life and helping them to achieve their full potential.

Home-Start Lorn aims to increase the confidence and independence of the family by:

  • Offering emotional and practical support and friendship
  • Visiting families in their own homes, where the dignity and identity of each adult and child can be respected and protected
  • Reassuring parents that difficulties in bringing up children are not unusual and encourage them to enjoy family life
  • Developing a relationship with the family in which time can be shared and understanding can be developed: the approach is flexible to take account of each families different needs
  • Encouraging parents’ strengths and emotional well-being for the ultimate benefit of their children
  • Encouraging families to widen their network of relationships, effectively using the support and service available within the community

Family PlayingOur Approach

Home-Start Schemes are rooted in the communities they serve. They are managed locally, but supported by the national organisation: this offers direction, training, information and guidance and ensures consistent and quality support for parents and children wherever they are.

Home-Start has a proven, lasting, positive impact on the development of children and the health and welfare of the family.

Area Covered by Homestart Lorn

Map of Area Covered by Homestart Lorn

Download the map as a PDF document »

Please donate to Homestart Lorn by clicking the button below:


Staff Profiles

Aileen Binner

Aileen Binner (Scheme Manager)

I have been with Home-Start Lorn since April 1997. After all that time I can honestly say, I still love my work.

I am a wife, mother to 3 grown up kids and granny to 3 of the most adorable children in the world(I am not at all biased).

My plan is never to grow up, and in an effort to stick with the plan, I took up roller-skating 2 years ago! When I’m not behaving badly, I like to read and knit.

Kirsty Renton

Kirsty Renton (Isle of Mull Co-ordinator)

I live in Salen. I took up the position of Home-start Co-ordinator in November 2017 and I am really enjoying the challenges and opportunities that the job entails. I also feel very lucky to work for an organisation which provides such a meaningful service within my community.

I am a wife and a mother to a very beautiful and energetic toddler who enjoys nothing more than helping us look after the sheep, chickens and dogs on our smallholding.

Carrie Hughes

Carrie Hughes (Scheme Administrator)

I have been working at Home-Start Lorn since April 2018 and I already feel very much part of the “Home-Start Family”

I have been working within charitable organisations for the past 10 years. I have a 5 year old daughter who is my whole world and in my spare time I enjoy running, swimming and reading.