Training & Support

Training & Support

Calling all Merton residents-have you thought about volunteering and supporting someone in your community?

It is important that all volunteers receive regular training, support and supervision throughout their time with Home-Start.

F_MG_0880_group_of_volunteers_and_trustees_jpgAll volunteers undertake a free Course of Preparation, two days a week for 6 weeks. The course is delivered during term time between 9.30am – 2.30pm. Each prospective volunteer is supplied with a volunteer resource file to work through each week. Throughout the course there is an element of fun and best of all no exams! For an example of the volunteer Course of Preparation click here.

Why have a Preparation Course?

All new volunteers feel concerned, anxious and nervous but our Preparation Course is designed to allay those fears and answer all the questions volunteers may have.

The course is designed to do 2 things:

  • To prepare the volunteers for things they may encounter as a home-visiting volunteer which they may not have thought about.
  • To help the co-ordinators to get to know each volunteer better. This is essential if the co-ordinators are to make a successful match between family and volunteer.

As a volunteer you will receive different levels of support and supervision. When you are matched with a family you will receive regular supervision from your co-ordinator. At these sessions you are able to discuss the family you are visiting and any other issues you are concerned about. It is always good to hear how well everything is going too.

We also have quarterly volunteer support group meetings that enable volunteers to give support to one another. It is an opportunity for the volunteers to get to know one another and a sharing of information.

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a volunteer you can give us a call to discuss it further or click here for a Volunteers information Pack

Below are quotes from volunteers. Names have been omitted to protect confidentiality.

“I had an amazing roller coaster ride of emotional awareness of abuse. I was made to realise I am assertive, it was always in me, I just needed to believe in myself. It awoke the adult in me; I’m no longer the scared child I once was. I’m now the butterfly I always knew I was, and now I’ve broken free from my cocoon of sleep, I’m able to let my wings dry, and explore any destination I choose in my new adventure of being grown up”

“I have been around a long time and attended quite a few courses but nothing prepared me for this! I found myself quite frequently on the outside looking in on myself realising that life as I knew it would never be the same again. Before the course, although you don’t realise how blinkered about what, why and how families can face such difficulties. The realisation is extraordinary and you feel nothing but empathy and the need to help them as well as you can for their benefit and of course your own personal reward, knowing you have made an impact in someone else’s life, if only a little. Home-Start’s approach to the course was second to none, we had highs and lows but plenty of laughter too! I particularly found the visual exercises enlightening! Throughout the course volunteers are made to feel valued and if some of the subject matter became evocative we were respected enough to take time out if need be. Yes the course evoked a lot of feeling but that was necessary to understand how one must feel in certain situations and helped us all in turn with our own personal demons. I would advise anyone planning to work in the social sector to take this course immediately! It will change your life for the better. “