Everyone needs a little extra help sometimes, and at the centre of our service, making a real difference, week in, week out, is a dedicated network of home-visiting volunteers. Every week they provide a few hours of vital practical and emotional support to parents and children in the family home, helping struggling families overcome hardship and better cope with a huge array of personal challenges.
What Our Families Say
Having a volunteer come to into my house made me realise things in a better way than me thinking everyone was judging me and gave me confidence. It was good to have someone other than family friends to listen to me and not judge me.
Without Home-Start Glasgow South support I don't think I would be where I am now. I learned a lot, I used to panic and be scared to go out, but having my volunteer with me was a big support.
It felt hard to ask for help at first, but once the volunteer started to visit, I wish I'd done it years ago.
With Home-Start Glasgow South's help I got through a terrible time, and now my house is full of hope and laughter.
How can our volunteers help you?
Our volunteers are parents too, and they know how hard parenthood can be sometimes. We all want the best for our children, and sometimes having an extra voice and some fresh ideas can make a huge difference to our ability to cope with daily challenges.
We know every family is different, often facing unique difficulties, and having a Home-Start Glasgow South volunteer is an incredible way of helping you discover methods and develop strategies which can help you learn to manage, or completely overcome family difficulties.
Getting support from one of our volunteers isn’t ‘just‘ about having someone come into your home once a week to help out either, it gives you access to a diverse network of local knowledge and parental experience from which to draw too. If you and your volunteer are struggling to find information or ways of dealing with very specific challenges, they also have access to the collective knowledge of dozens of other volunteers, a whole team of experienced staff and beyond in order to help you find an effective fix.
Everyone who volunteers with us undertakes a 9 week training course to prepare them for volunteering with families. It gives our volunteers a wide ranging knowledge of how to approach individual circumstances, where best to look for extra help, a toolbox of strategies which can be applied to helping you manage children’s behaviour, and many more practical things that can help create a real, positive impact on daily life.
Early on in the support process you will be ‘matched’ with a volunteer, who will visit you once a week for a few hours. Often families stay with a single volunteer for their entire time with us, so getting the right volunteer for you is extremely important. The relationship which forms between you both is the key to our method of support working so well for everyone involved, so we take as much time as is needed to get this right.
How to Get Help / Make a Referral
Getting 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.
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.
Our Support Principles
We Work With You
We’re here to listen. We work with you, to address the problems you ask us to help with. What’s important to you, is important to us.
For As Long As It Takes
We don’t work to deadlines. There’s no time limit on the support you receive and we’ll help you until you decide you don’t need us any more.
To Make Life Better
What we want to do above all else is help families enjoy better lives, whatever you’re struggling with, we will do everything we can to help.
If you feel you could benefit from our support, please call us on 0141 570 8735 to find out more.
Interested in becoming a Home-Start Glasgow South Volunteer?
You can make a real difference to a local family by joining our team us as a volunteer and giving only a few hours each week. You can fit it around your other commitments, and it can be a hugely rewarding experience.
What will I be doing?
We understand that every family is different, and individual needs continually evolve, so how you spend your time with your family also changes constantly.
Broadly speaking, 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.
Once a month volunteers meet with their coordinator for a support and supervision session to discuss their family, what’s working, and what might need to change. It’s up to you just how much time you choose to spend with your family, but we ask for a minimum of 2-3 hours per visit in order to provide the time to create a tangible, positive impact every week, and are able to commit to volunteering with us for at least 1 year.
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 they will arrange a convenient time to meet up for an informal interview.
You’ll be invited to attend our 9 week VTC (Volunteer Training Course), during which time we will gather references and a you will undergo a PVG check. The VTC takes place once a week, with sessions running for around 2.5 hours, one during the day and another during an evening, to enable you to fit training around other commitments.
After completing the course, a coordinator will discuss some families with you and we will try to ‘match’ you with one 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!
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!
To enquire about referring yourself, or a family you work with, or to find out more about becoming a Home-Start Glasgow South Home-Visiting Volunteer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a chat. Remember, we’re here to help, and conversations are always completely confidential.