Home-Start East Surrey helps families become more resilient, supporting them until they are strong enough to cope on their own. Together, we want to help children thrive and give them the best possible start in life.
We provide non-judgemental practical and emotional support and help build the family’s confidence and ability to cope. Accepting our support is absolutely voluntary.
Who can Home-Start help?
- Lonely or isolated parents
- Families with twins, triplets or several pre-school children
- Families where there is ill health or disability/special needs
- Families who have suffered bereavement
- Parents who have mental health problems/ post-natal depression
- Families from all backgrounds
- Lone parents
- Young parents
- Grandparents caring for grandchildren
- Step parents
- Adoptive parents
- Foster parents
- Families where a parent is in the armed forces
- Families where a parent is in prison
In short, any family with at least one child under 5, who is experiencing difficulties, can ask Home-Start for help.
How can Home-Start help?
- Understanding – Home-Start volunteers are parents too! Some may have been supported by Home-Start themselves, or wish they could have been
- Reassurance – all parents sometimes feel overwhelmed, you are not alone
- A listening ear and a shoulder to cry on, if needed!
- An extra pair of hands – coping with more than one child may make getting out and about or accessing appointments tricky, a Home-Start volunteer could provide the help and support you need
- Offering advice- if you ask for it
- Friendly support through difficult times for as long as it is helpful or needed
- Confidentiality – information about you and your family is never disclosed to anyone outside of Home-Start (except where a child may be at risk)
- Choice – families choose whether or not to accept Home-Start support. A volunteer will only visit at the invitation of the family
What happens next?
Initially, a co-ordinator will arrange to visit you and answer any questions you may have. They will also talk to you about the difficulties you might be having and the support you may need.
If agreed and appropriate, you will be ‘matched’ with and introduced to a volunteer* who will then visit weekly. Your co-ordinator will still keep in touch and will be available should you have any questions.
* This is dependent on an appropriate volunteer being available
Our coordinators get to know each volunteer really well through a 10 week Preparation Course. The right volunteer is carefully considered before being introduced to your family, based on their skills, experience and personality. Just another of the reasons that Home-Start works so well.
Who will know that Home-Start is supporting me?
The only people who will know are you, staff at Home-Start, your volunteer and the person who referred you to us (if applicable). All information is treated in the strictest confidence, except where a child is perceived to be at risk of harm.
How long is Home-Start needed?
Some families will need to be visited for only a few months, whilst others will need support for much longer. Your co-ordinator will discuss the support you need with you on a regular basis.
I was at my lowest; I had a hundred and one things to do; the kids were playing up and I just felt like screaming. Then P turned up – my Guardian Angel. She made me laugh and the whole mood in the house changed. She’s great. ’
How do I find out more?
For more information please feel free to call us on 01737 770220
Or email us via our contact form. Alternatively you could ask a family member or close friend to contact us, or ask your health visitor/ local Children’s Centre for more information.