What We Do

Home-Start Glasgow South exists to help families overcome personal challenges. We understand that everyone struggles from time to time, and most of us could do with an occasional helping hand to offer guidance and support to help us through difficult periods.

We work with parents and children to help them develop the strategies, confidence and skills to enable them to overcome the challenges they are facing.

How We Work


ur aim is to provide a first class, personalised service to all our families.  Families can approach us independently in complete confidence, or be referred to us from professionals working in all sectors, from Health and Education to Housing, and each is treated with the same level of compassion and respect.

We work with families suffering from mental health issues or post natal depression, victims of domestic abuse, parents struggling with substance abuse or learning difficulties, or those reporting difficulties coping as a young or single parents.  We work with asylum seekers, families who have suffered bereavement or family breakdown, anyone in fact, with young children who needs a little extra support.

We talk to families to identify their needs, set goals, and implement strategies they feel will help overcome them.  During our conversations we ask parents about how well they feel they are coping with all aspects of parental life, from managing their children’s behaviour to coping with mental or physical ill-health, parental self-esteem, managing the household budget and to the day-to-day running of their home. We feel it is important that parents can tell us how they feel, so together we can work to make things better.

Once we have established the family’s goals we devise a personalised support plan utilising our range of in house support mechanisms.  Our support is designed to combat different needs in different ways, and can be tailored to suit any situation.  Some needs are best approached by our home-visiting volunteers, while others require groups, tutors, courses, or a combination of two or more to best address the family’s requirements.

Families are visited regularly by our Family Support Coordinators to talk about how they feel their support is helping, and it is adjusted if required.

Getting Support


etting support from us is extremely straightforward, and absolutely shouldn’t be a stressful or intimidating process for anyone involved.  We are here to help.

If you are a parent, or a close family member seeking help for a son or daughter and their family, you can call us on 0141 570 8735 in complete confidence to discuss your circumstances, find out more about how we can help and decide whether you feel our support may be suitable.  Alternatively, you can request a call back by emailing [email protected], and one of our Family Support Coordinators will be in touch as soon as possible.

For professionals working with families, referrals can be made by completing a Home-Start Glasgow South referral form (link below) and returning it to us either via email or by post.

When we receive your referral we will contact you to confirm receipt and the family will be allocated to one of our Family Support Coordinators, who will make contact with the family to discuss our service further and to arrange a visit.  Together with parents our Coordinators will design a support plan which best addresses the family’s requirements and support will begin as soon as possible.

At the discretion of families, referrers will be kept informed throughout the early stages as support is put in place, and we welcome calls at any time to discuss family progress.

Everyone is Unique.
Individuals Deserve an Individual Approach.

Our Services

Home-Visiting Volunteers

While we employ an increasingly diverse range of services aimed at helping families overcome a multitude of different personal challenges, at the heart of our service remain our home-visiting volunteers.

Our volunteers visit families once a week for 2-3 hours, and offer practical and emotional support to parents and children.  Volunteers are ‘matched’ with usually one family at a time and work with them to help address specific needs identified by the family and their coordinator. Our volunteer support continually adapts as the family progresses, or as new needs are identified, and volunteers are in regular contact with coordinators to discuss how they feel their family is responding to their support and whether additional support needs to be implemented.

All our volunteers undertake a 9 week training course to prepare them for the different situations they may encounter with families, and receive regular supervision sessions with us, which are an opportunity to voice concerns, seek guidance, and to talk about how they feel more generally.

People volunteer with us for a number of reasons, they want to give back, share experience, gain skills etc. etc., but whatever the reason, volunteering can be a hugely rewarding experience.  We exist to help families, but we also want our volunteers to enjoy their time with us.

If you’re interested in joining Home-Start Glasgow South as a volunteer, please follow the link to find out more…

Become a Volunteer

Our Weekly Groups

Mums’ Group

10am – 11.30am
Gowanbank Primary School

English Group (Pollokshaws)

12.45pm – 2.45pm
Pollokshaws Burgh Hall

To find out more about any of our Groups,
0141 570 8735, or visit our Groups page.

English Group (Pollokshields)

9.45am – 11.15am
Pollokshields Primary School
(Term Time Only)

Toddle In (Tuesday)

10am – 11.30am
Castlemilk Parish Church

To find out more about any of our Groups,
0141 570 8735, or visit our Groups page.

Toddle In (Wednesday)

10am – 11.30am
Castlemilk Parish Church

One to One Baby Massage

1pm – 2pm
We visit you at home!

Dads’ Group

3pm – 4.30pm
Gowanbank Primary School

To find out more about any of our Groups,
0141 570 8735, or visit our Groups page.

Walking Group

10am – 11.30am
Our Walking Group tours the parks of Glasgow’s Southside, taking in  a different park each week – Check our events calendar to see where we’re walking next!

Parent & Tots

1.15pm – 2.45pm
Penilee Community Centre
(Term Time Only)

To find out more about any of our Groups,
0141 570 8735, or visit our Groups page.

Ladies Group

10am – 11.30am
Pollokshaws Burgh Hall
(Term time only)

One to One Baby Massage

1pm – 2pm
We visit you at home!

To find out more about any of our Groups,
0141 570 8735, or visit our Groups page.

Creative Play

Our Creative Play workshops are one of our flagship programs.  Travelling around the South of Glasgow working within local primary schools in intensive 8 week blocks, the sessions are highly interactive, extremely good fun and sometimes quite messy (!).  Creative Play has been designed to stimulate children’s creative juices and encourage parents and children to work, play and generally enjoy spending time together.

Creative Play Benefits

Wherever Creative Play goes it is met with huge enthusiasm and is always in demand.  We believe Creative Play brings wide ranging benefits not only for children immediately involved, but their parents and siblings too. The impact isn’t restricted to session time either, with parents reporting positive changes within the home, and teachers noting improved behaviour, communication and attention spans in school.  Schools have told us how the sessions have helped them develop links with new parents and build stronger ones with existing parents, how they have seen friendships form, and how parents have learned new ways to interact positively with their children which they replicate at home and share with their extended families, so the benefits spread even further.

Would you like to see Creative Play visit your school?

Intensive Family Support

As part of our ongoing drive to ensure we are able to provide essential support as quickly as possible, we identified the need for an in-house service to engage directly with families on a one-to-one basis with the aim of preventing them reaching crisis point. Intensive support is implemented over an initial 12 week period, during which time we aim to identify and address needs quickly and help guide families towards a point where they feel confident enough to manage independently, or move on to receive more general volunteer support.

Initially a joint venture with Glasgow City’s Health & Social Care Partnership, where we work closely with local Social Work teams to identify and support families in the most acute need, we expanded the service in 2018 with TASK Childcare Services and employed in a second Family Support Worker to work specifically within the Gorbals area of Glasgow.

Although we work with families in a variety of ways across the whole of the Southside, this service is currently restricted to referrals from specific social work teams based in Govan, and referrers within the Gorbals (G5) area.

This service is currently only available to specific Social Work teams in Govan, but open to any family in the Gorbals (G5) area. If you would like to discuss referring a family for specialist support, please call us on

0141 570 8735

To refer yourself, or someone you know, please call us on 0141 570 8735 to find out more.

For professionals referring a family, please contact us to request a Referral Pack.

English Tutoring

At Home-Start Glasgow South we are very aware that a significant number of families in our community struggle with a lack of basic English language skills. This can often inhibit the ability of families to integrate fully into society, leading to social isolation as well as making it more difficult for parents to access vital local services, and more generally, difficulties interpreting letters and forms.

While some parents are able to attend ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses at colleges or elsewhere in the community, this is not practical for many.  Working similarly to our Home-Visiting Volunteers, our English Tutors also visit families in their own homes once a week for a few hours to provide support learning English via worksheets and books, and can also accompany parents and families out into the community to practice in real world scenarios.

English Tutors undertake the same 9 week volunteer training course as our Home-Visiting Volunteers, and can also visit families to offer more general support alongside their tutoring activities.  Volunteers must have an interest in teaching English, and experience is helpful, but no formal qualifications are required.



STEPS (Steps To Excellence for Personal Success) is an 8 week personal development course facilitated by qualified trainers and aimed at helping parents enhance their motivation, confidence and self-belief in a wide variety of situations.

We’ve been running STEPS courses for parents for over 10 years now and have learned through experience how tailoring the concepts, techniques, exercises and strategies of the programme to suit the needs of families can make a huge difference not only to parents, but their children and wider families too.

While we gear our STEPS courses towards parenting and family life, the concepts are hugely transferable and have been implemented with great success in other areas too, such as enhancing participation in community activities, and helping unemployed people find the motivation to complete training and the self-belief to apply for and secure jobs.

We believe that relaxed, confident parents transfer this relaxed, confident outlook to their children, which has an invaluable impact on family relationships, early years attainment and social skills.

Triple P

Triple P (Positive Parenting Programme) is a parenting programme designed to equip parents with ideas and strategies which will help them cope better with many aspects of parenthood. This can include overcoming difficulties managing children’s behaviour and promoting positive behaviour in its place, helping to set and maintain rules and routines, helping parents feel confident that they’re doing the right things to raise happy and confident children and all the while making sure Mums and Dads don’t forget to take care of themselves.

We have over 15 years experience using Triple P, and use it exclusively in one-on-one scenarios because we understand that parenting is extremely personal, and feel it is much better for parents to be able to discuss their needs in a confidential environment.

Triple P isn’t about instructing parents how to be parents, it simply offers a ‘toolbox of ideas’, designed to give parents simple and practical strategies to deal with problems large and small, which help develop happier families and more confident Mums and Dads.

Triple P is open to anyone, but availability is limited and it is run as requested throughout the year.


Our VTC (Volunteer Training Course) is the first step towards volunteering with us as either a Home-Visiting Volunteer, or an English Tutor. Volunteer Translators do not need to complete the course to volunteer with us.

The course runs for 9 weeks and covers a huge variety of topics from how to deal with situations faced within family homes to child protection issues and the individual needs of asylum seekers and refugees. During the course references are collected and prospective volunteers receive a PVG (Disclosure) check. Due to the nature of our service, this is something everyone in our organisation undergoes.

We run 4 VTC Courses throughout the year, with a morning or afternoon course running in tandem with an evening course. We try to accommodate everyone as best we can, and because each week’s session is run twice, volunteers who are unable to attend a daytime session due to other commitments can choose to attend the evening of that week instead to ensure they don’t miss out.

At the end of the course any missed sessions are completed one-to-one with one of our Family Support Coordinators.

To find out more about what STEPS or Triple P can do for you, and when the next course begins, please call Susan on

0141 570 8735

Interested in becoming a Volunteer?

Find Out More

Our children are the real heros -
We help parents give them the best start in life

Other Services

Training Events

Every year we also run a number of training events exclusively for families, volunteers or both. We try to host training events which will benefit families, and expand on the knowledge, skills and abilities of our volunteers.

We engage external speakers and trainers to facilitate training on topics as diverse as baby and child first aid  and breastfeeding, to intercultural fluency. Events are normally limited to groups of between 10 and 20 people depending on the nature of the course, and are all free of charge.

We are always open to training requests from volunteers and our families, and endeavour to arrange requests where there is a demand.

Family Trips

Through the summer months we also facilitate trips for the families we support, as well as training events for both families and volunteers throughout the year.

In recent years we’ve visited a diverse range of attractions offering different and sometimes completely new experiences for parents and their children. We’ve visited theme parks, beaches, museums, safari and animal parks, science centres and country parks. We’ve been to Christmas pantomimes and giant soft play centres, and of course, every year we host our own Christmas and Easter parties. With the exception of our Christmas and Easter events, our outings are funded by BBC Children in Need, and in the last three years alone an incredible 1679 people have attended trips and events with us!  In 2014 we even managed to take 50 people to see events at the Commonwealth Games here in Glasgow!

We’re extremely proud of our trips. That we are able to give families, and children especially, the opportunity to experience things for sometimes the very first time is extremely rewarding. We’ve witnessed the first time children have seen lions and giraffes and snakes, and the first time children have seen and set foot on a beach. Small things like these encourage and broaden imaginative young minds and the happiness they bring is a joy to behold.

Any Questions?

To enquire about any of our services, or to find out more about becoming a Home-Start Glasgow South volunteer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a chat. Remember, we’re here to help, and conversations are always completely confidential.

Contact Us