How could a Family Volunteer help me?

Befriender and baby read Dr Seuss

“I feel so much better. It definitely helps to have support and someone to speak to and it means my anxiety doesn’t get out of hand. It’s just really good knowing you’ve got someone you trust coming round every week; somebody that you know is on your side, (and someone who really doesn’t care if I’m still in my jammies).   We’d been going through a difficult time – this just worked – it helped us as a family to get a wee bit stronger when we needed it”. (Parent/carer, Edinburgh)

Who is it for?

Anyone in Edinburgh or Midlothian who has at least one child under 5, or expecting a baby. You don’t need to be claiming any benefits and this service is FREE! Having a child under 5 is difficult, everybody needs help sometimes. We can provide a friendly non-judgemental person to help you at home for a couple of hours a week.

What to expect?

A Co-ordinator will visit you first to explain our service and ask you about the kind of help you need. Then you may be matched with a volunteer and have regular meeting the with Coordinator to review how the volunteer support is going.

When you are matched with a volunteer they will usually visit you at home once a week for a couple of hours, for up to 6 months to 1 year. You can decide what you want the volunteer to help you with. They can’t babysit or look after the children when you are not in the house, but they are trained to support you and are great with kids. Click here for a video of families and volunteers. During the time your volunteer visits you, the Co-ordinator is in regular contact with both the volunteer and you, to make sure everyone’s happy with the way things are going. You can ask for the visits to stop at any stage.

Who are these Volunteers?

They are people of all ages who come from all walks of life. You can tell us what sort of person you would like and we’ll do our best to match you with that type of volunteer.
A volunteer is:

  • Someone kind that you can talk to
  • Someone who can help get your family outdoors and access local resources
  • Help to find your feet if you have moved to a new area
  • An extra pair of hands whilst you are busy with a new baby or chores
  • Help to find out about local services and opportunities
  • Someone who genuinely wants to help you
  • An emotional support that is separate from your family or friends
  • Help for you and your child to have fun with reading and playing
  • A practical person who can help you get a bit more organised

Our family volunteers genuinely want to help a family to give their children the best start in life. Some of them have been in your position before, all of them are easy-going and non-judgemental.  Some volunteers want to get more experience to become teachers or psychologists etc., so you’ll be helping them too.

They must all undergo our screening process which includes providing references, being police checked and completing our volunteer training course. Volunteers also receive ongoing support from coordinators while they are volunteering. They are constantly monitored by Home Link Family Support.

How do I get a volunteer?

You can contact us direct click here or call us on 0131 661 0890

Or, you can ask your Health Visitor, Doctor, or any professional you know, to make a referral. We will do our best to help you as soon as we can but sometimes there is a waiting list.

You can also self refer by fillin out this Referral Form

Do you want to become a Volunteer? more info