Could You Be A Home-Start Volunteer?

Local charity needs help for families in crisis

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Calling all Hounslow borough residents with parenting experience and a couple of spare hours a week: local families need you!

Home-Start Hounslow is a local charity that offers an outreach service through volunteers giving regular support, friendship and practical help to families who are under stress in their own homes, helping to prevent family crisis and breakdown.

Volunteers are trained to support local families facing a variety of difficulties, including loneliness and isolation, ill health, post-natal depression, disabilities, bereavement, lone-parenting and coping with several pre-school children.

Home-Start volunteers are all ages and from all walks of life, all they ask is that you have parenting experience, you attend a preparation course and you can spare two to three hours a week to visit someone.

Here is what one volunteer, Mary who lives in Chiswick, has said about her experience;

“I really enjoy volunteering for Home-Start Hounslow.  Why does it work so well?  All volunteers have to take part in the initial ‘Volunteer Preparation Course’, this gave me the opportunity to get to know other volunteers and the staff and they got to know me.  It is a thorough and well planned course and gives you time to ask questions and find out what sorts of things you might be asked to do, to let them know what you are interested in and what you are less happy to deal with.  By the end of the course, each volunteer, their strengths and experiences is known to the staff, making the job of matching the volunteer with a family far less random or ‘hit-or-miss’ than might otherwise be the case.

"So far I have worked with two families.  In both cases I have enjoyed meeting the family.  I have felt privileged to be allowed into their homes and to share their lives, and have had lots of fun and laughs both with parents and with the children.  The matching of me with each family has been masterly – somehow what I am able to offer, which is basically me being me and cheerfully turning up each week, seems to be exactly what is needed.  As the old saying goes; ‘a trouble shared is a trouble halved’ – the mere fact that the volunteer turns up every week seems immediately to lighten the burden that the family is struggling to deal with.  Families who have asked for help are nothing if not eager to let you know how grateful they are that you are prepared to try and help – the appreciation they show makes it all very worthwhile!"

They are running our next preparation course in September 2014, which will take place in Hounslow:

  • Every Friday  9.45am – 2.45pm, from 26th September to 28th  November 2014

If you are interested in helping local families in need, either as a home-visiting volunteer or any other capacity contact Margaret O’Connor on 0208 577 9552, or email

September 8, 2014