Every family is different and each will be carefully assessed by us before we match you. That means you'll know what the family would like from you before you meet them.
Ways you might help support a family:
- Providing a listening ear
- Letting a parent discuss any problems in confidence
- Helping a family find its feet in a new area
- Helping a family get out and about
- Giving a parent practical help with the children, for example at meal times
- Helping a parent find out about other local services
- Spending time with children to give a parent a break
- Encouraging a family to enjoy playing and reading
What our volunteers say:
- "I am glad I met you at that volunteer fair - it changed my life! I felt really well taken care of as a volunteer and it helped me to get a new job."
- "I feel I take some of the pressure off the mother during the time I am with the family. When you are helping with small children, it does not take a lot – most of the time I play games with the kids. If it’s a nice day, we go out into the garden and kick a ball about. Or we play inside with toys, drawing and colouring in and we read a lot together. I also have a good chat with the other members of the family about how their week has been and any problems or concerns they have come up against and we always have a laugh. It gives the family a couple of hours' 'me' time."
"I have really enjoyed being a volunteer. It gives me a break from student life and I usually play games so I can embrace my inner child which is always fun!"
"The Induction Training was thorough and delivered in such a way that no question seemed irrelevant, discussions were encouraged and each potential volunteer was able to express their view and consider their own values. There are lots of further training opportunities and I have enjoyed PEEP and mental health courses."
What our families say:
- "Having a volunteer allows me to look at other ideas which helps me understand life better."
- "My Home Link volunteer really understands me, and that is what I like."
- "I like seeing mummy smile. You always make mummy smile now." Eddie, aged 4
- "The Big Bedtime Read made me feel very proud. I wanted to shout from the roof to let everyone how proud I was of being in the DVD. It helped me to recognise what a good job I was doing with my child. It has really helped with Kyle’s speech and language and the nursery told me he was doing brilliantly."
What the experts say:
'"A strong foundation in the early years increases the probability of a healthy happy child - a weak foundation increases the odds of later difficulties, sometimes lasting through the child’s life."
Joining the Dots. A better start for Scotland’s children
"Enriching early childhood experience and supporting parents in the crucial early years is pragmatic, challenging and economically efficient. Such an approach encourages fairness and equity."
Alan Sinclair 0-5: How Small Children Make a Big Difference, Work Foundation, 2007