Volunteer with us

Why become a Volunteer?

Our volunteers receive thorough training and are fully supported by paid staff. Volunteering can help you gain new skills for your career development and is great experience if you want to work with children and families.

Some volunteers just do a year with us, some have worked with us for a long time.  Their reasons for volunteering vary:

  • To get new experience to apply for jobs
  • For hands on experience to compliment a course such as Psychology or Social Work
  • To dip a toe in this area to decide if it might be a career
  • To give something back
  • To maintain contact with small children
  • Because they can remember how hard parenting was in the early years.
  • Just because they want to help and get personal satisfaction.

Every family needs different things and we always follow their lead.

See volunteer FAQS

Watch our volunteers and families explaining it themselves here

What do Volunteers do?

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

Am I eligible to be a Volunteer?

  • Can you spare 2 hours a week
  • Are you reliable
  • Are you caring and non-judgemental
  • Are you a good listener
  • Are you  able to maintain confidentiality
  • Have you got some understanding of the ups and downs of family life
  • Are you over 18

Then yes, please get in touch we'd love to hear from you.

How much of your time do we need?

  • 4 day initial training course.  Dates click here
  • Midlothian volunteers visit famiies for 2 hrs a week for 6 to 12 months
  • Edinburgh volunteers visit families for 2 hrs a week for up to 12 months

Volunteer Application Form available here

Two young boys

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."

More volunteer's stories

  Children reading

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."
  • More family stories   Family Stories