Volunteering with Home-Start Glasgow South
Our service is built around our volunteers, and without them we wouldn’t be where we are today.
If you have parenting experience you can share, and can give 2-3 hours each week to help a local family, we’d love to hear from you!
Why Volunteer With Us?
Volunteers join us for a variety of reasons, to learn new skills, meet new people or increase their job prospects (over a third of our staff volunteered with us first!), but whatever else they are looking for, all share the simple, common desire to offer their time to help someone else. Volunteering can be an extremely rewarding way to spend some of your free time, and a handful of hours each week can have an immeasurably positive impact on a struggling family.
Our families often refer to their volunteers as lifelines, their visits a moment in each week they can look forward to, and one which can prevent potentially challenging circumstances reaching crisis point. Year after year our volunteers make a huge difference to the lives of local parents and their children, and even seemingly minor actions can have a BIG impact on families.
Our volunteers aren’t confined to one role either, and can have a very real impact on all aspects of our organisation. Existing volunteers can choose to help us in other ways too, at events, fundraising, taking on new volunteering roles, and some go on to become staff or trustees. Our volunteers are amazing, and in our opinion there is no bigger compliment to their positive work than when previously supported parents choose to replicate their actions and join us as volunteers or board members themselves, or return to us as students of social care, often citing the impact of their Home-Start Glasgow South volunteer as a major reason for them doing so.
Volunteering with us is more than ‘just’ visiting a family!
Our Parents say...
"My volunteer has made a massive difference to my life. Knowing that I have the support weekly and that my volunteer is coming to visit me and my children makes me feel so much better. The support I receive from Home-Start Glasgow South is something very special."
"As soon as we say that [my volunteer] is coming later, she [daughter] runs up to the window and says “I want to look for [her]!"
How Can You Help Us?
Volunteers visit families in their own homes, providing practical & emotional support once each week.
English Tutoring Volunteers
Our English Tutors visit families to work with parents and children to help improve their language skills.
Volunteer as a Trustee
Trustees are responsible for our strategic direction and governance, for vacancies, visit our Trustees page.
Other Volunteering Opportunities
Volunteers also help us facilitate Family Groups, organise fundraising events, and other things too!
If you can help us support a local family, please call us on 0141 570 8735 to find out more...
At the core of our service is a dedicated team of Home-Visiting Volunteers, each giving a few hours each week to help support a local family.
What will I be doing?
We understand that every family is different, and individual needs continually evolve, so how our volunteers spend their time with families also changes constantly.
Broadly speaking, our volunteers provide ‘practical and emotional support’ to parents, which is our catch-all term to describe a huge variety of activities which are tailored to best suit the needs of individual families. You could be supporting families by providing practical assistance within the family home, helping parents get to appointments or leading activities with children, offering guidance and assistance in approaching challenging family matters such as the behavioural difficulties of children or simply providing a friendly face to talk to.
Due to the nature of our work, we ask that our volunteers have some parenting experience, and ideally you will be a parent yourself, but many of our volunteers are also older siblings, or aunts or uncles. We feel being able to relate to the struggles faced by fellow parents, and share your own experience, is invaluable when building relationships with parents.
We ask that you are able to commit to volunteering with us for at least 1 year, and for a minimum of 2-3 hours per week in order to provide the time to create a tangible, lasting and positive impact, and Once a month volunteers meet with their coordinator for a support and supervision session to discuss their family and help address any concerns they might have.
How do I get involved?
The first step towards helping us support a local family is simply picking up the phone and saying hello!
We’ll take some basic details and one of our Family Support Coordinators will give you a call to explain a little more about what we do, how we work and answer any questions you may have. After which we will send out an application pack for you to complete before arranging a convenient time to meet up for an informal interview.
You’ll then be invited to attend our free and comprehensive VTC (Volunteer Training Course), during which time we will gather references and a you will undergo a PVG check. Each weekly session lasts for around 2.5 hours, and we run two VTC courses in tandem (you can choose to attend either a daytime or evening course) to enable you to fit training around other commitments.
After completing the course, a Family Support Coordinator will meet with you to complete a final interview and we will try to ‘match’ you with a family as soon as possible.
Our Volunteers say...I never felt I was doing enough for the family, but hearing what they told the coordinator has made me feel brilliant. Thank you for all your support, and everything you have taught me, I've loved it!
The Key to Successful Support
The matching process is extremely important to successful support. We try to ensure families and volunteers are matched as closely as possible as the trust and friendship which develops between parents, children and volunteers is what makes our style of support so successful!
The key to our success is built on the strength of our volunteers' unique relationships with their families
Other Volunteering Opportunities
If you’re not sure Home-Visiting is for you, don’t worry, we have volunteering opportunities for everyone! We also need English Tutors, Translators, Group Helpers, Trustees and Fundraisers too.
Are you good with languages? A confident communicator?
English Tutoring Volunteers
Glasgow South is an extremely diverse community, with the Govanhill district alone reputed to be home to 53 distinct languages, and an ethnic and religious diversity much greater than the Scottish average.
We work with many families for whom English is not their first, or even second language, and currently support around 40 families each year who are seeking asylum, or have arrived here as refugees and have little or no English. Alongside these groups we also support many more families who have moved here for other reasons and are also not able to communicate as confidently as they would like. We see this leading to parents and children becoming increasingly socially isolated, creating enormous difficulties in understanding and gaining access to vital services such as GPs and schools, and preventing families from fully integrating into society.
As a Home-Start Glasgow South English Tutor, you can help families to gain the basic language skills which will give them the confidence to get out into their community, to meet new people, to enter education and to find work. Teaching language to parents has a huge effect on their children too, their ability to learn, socialise and become active members of South Glasgow communities. Integration can be a generationally slow process, so giving our children the tools to succeed as early as possible is of paramount importance.
Our English Tutoring volunteers work in a similar way to our Home-Visiting volunteers, visiting families in their homes for 1-2 hours each week, and undergo the same training and personal checks.
Do I need any qualifications?
While many of our tutors come from a background in education, or arrive with previous ESOL experience in this country or others, you do not need any formal qualifications or previous teaching experience to volunteer with us.
Our English Tutors do not follow a curriculum, and tend to take a much more practical approach, led by the family. We use formal workbooks and exercises in the home, but also encourage our volunteers and families to get out into the community and use it as their classroom and have great success incorporating this more practical learning methodology.
While you won’t need to have done any teaching before, being a confident communicator, able to effectively explain concepts is a huge advantage!
How do I get involved?
Because there are so many similarities between English Tutoring and Home-Visiting, volunteers are all required to complete our 9 week VTC (Volunteer Training Course). The course covers elements relevant to all volunteers who visit family homes, and many people who apply to become English Tutors also go on to become Home-Visiting volunteers too. Some people tutor one family and visit another, while some begin tutoring a family, and then combine their tutoring with more general support if it is required.
To find out more about how you could help and what you might be doing, give us a call on
0141 570 8735
Working closely with our staff and volunteers, as well as other local organisations working with our families, our Translators allow us to communicate effectively with parents and children in order to best asses their needs and develop a suitable support plan.
As an Translator you could join our staff during visits to families, help at groups, assist families understanding and completing essential forms or help us translate important information for families. There are dozens of different languages spoken in our area of South Glasgow, the more diverse our language pool is, the more families we can help. If you speak 2, 3, 4 or more languages, we’d love to hear from you!
Translating with Home-Start Glasgow South does not require you to attend our training course, although due to the sometimes sensitive nature of our activities you will still be required to complete the required paperwork and provide references.
Volunteer as an Translator
If you can translate for us, or teach English to a family, give us a call to find out more about how you can help.
Our fundraisers not only raise vital funds to help us continue supporting our families, but also help us by raising our profile locally, regionally and nationally too.
If you want to support Home-Start Glasgow South by participating in an event, please let us know and we’ll do what we can to help you make it as successful as possible. Among many other things, lovely people have hosted fundraising events, run, walked, cycled, jumped, abseiled, painted and sung for us, all raising money which we can use to train more volunteers, run more family groups, more courses for parents, buy extra materials or enable us to support our families in other ways.
If you have an idea and some spare time in which you can help raise funds to support struggling local families we’d love to hear about it and help you make it a success.
Whether you want to shake a can, pack some bags with your local youth group, organise an event, run a 10k, jump out of a plane or drive around the world, your imagination is the limit, and the more people who can get involved the better!
Let us know your plans, and we’ll try to provide support where we can, and, staff fitness permitting, join in too!!
For those who are unable to commit to weekly home visits, or are able to commit time beyond their weekly visits, you can also help us out at our family groups.
Volunteers help us at our weekly English Groups, becoming practice partners for parents, or even facilitating occasional classes, and can also become involved with any of our other groups too, depending on what’s on and how many volunteers we need.
Volunteering at our groups is open to everyone, but anyone wishing to becoming involved is required to attend our VTC (volunteer Training Course), and because we work with young children, everyone in our organisation undergoes a PVG check and is required to provide the necessary references.
Currently we have both Home-Visiting volunteers and English Tutors attending groups with staff, as well as others who cannot commit to weekly visits and instead attend perhaps one or two group sessions each month when they can.
We want volunteering with us to be as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, so however much time you are able to give, we will try to make supporting a local family possible.
Join us as a Trustee
We are an extremely ambitious organisation, and are continually looking for opportunities to expand our reach and service options to impact more local families.
Our Board of Trustees currently consists of seven members, each bringing extensive expertise and experience from statutory Education and Health Services, the Third Sector, legal and financial sectors, as well as previously supported Home-Start Glasgow South families and volunteers. Over the last few years we’ve grown by about 25% each year in terms of number of families supported, and now support twice as many as four years ago. We believe the diversity and breadth of experience of our trustees is a key contributor to this and gives us the best possible foundation from which to continue this growth.
Our Volunteers in Numbers
Volunteers trained to date – 617 people have successfully completed our VTC!
On average, our volunteers help us support local families for 2.4 years.
Our longest serving volunteer has been supporting families for 17 years!
Last year, 135 volunteers helped us support an incredible 292 local families!