Support and friendship for families

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“Home-Start Dover District has an excellent record of supporting families throughout the Dover District since 1995”

Penny Stephens

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Volunteers at Home-Start Dover District

Home-Start Dover District is always looking to recruit new Volunteers.

What do volunteers actually do?
Our volunteers will usually visit a family in their home once a week for 2-3 hours.  How they help is really down to the needs of the parent or child.  Some parents might need a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on or someone to have a laugh with.  Others may need help keeping appointments or accessing local services and ‘connecting’ with their local community.

Our volunteers can provide an extra pair of hands at home (not housework) or provide practical help with activities such as playing with the children or providing respite for the parent. Volunteers can also provide emotional support, they have the time to listen and often make good ‘sounding boards’ to help parents problem solve and find new coping strategies.

Home-Start Dover District’s approach is very personal and friendly and this often reassures parents that what they are going through is not unusual and that they are not alone.


So, who are the volunteers?

They are people just like you – ordinary people who understand how hard it can be to bring up young children whilst coping with mental health issues or children’s behavioural difficulties. They all have parenting experience – some are young, others are not so young – and they come from many different backgrounds. Some have even been helped by Home-Start themselves.

Do you need any qualifications to be a volunteer?

The only ‘real qualification’ you need to become a volunteer is experience of what is involved in bringing up children.  You do not judge people, you accept them for who they are and then strive to support them as they try to give their children the best possible start in life.  You will receive full training on one of our preparation courses, and have an enhanced disclosure and barring check carried out before being carefully matched to a family where your own set of experiences and skills can help the most.  You will receive regular supervision, an annual appraisal and all out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed.

Our Volunteer Preparation Courses run for 6 consecutive Tuesdays, twice a year from February to March and September to October, and always during school hours. We can help you with travel and child care expenses to enable you to attend the course.

Our Volunteer Preparation Courses are either online or face to face and are flexible to suit your needs.


Home-Start Dover District, Registered Office: The Ark, Noahs Ark Road, Dover. Kent. CT17 0DD.
Telephone/Fax: 01304 242314 - E-Mail:

A Company Limited by Guarantee - Number: 4974145. Registered in England. Charity Number: 1102201.

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