Your experience could make a huge difference to a local family.

Do you have experience with young children?

Do you have two hours to spare each week? 

Volunteer as a family befriender!

As a volunteer family befriender, you would be carefully matched with a local family, offering them personalised, flexible, non-judgemental support and friendship.

Your role as a befriender varies depending on the family’s circumstance. You will be supporting them to cope with the pressures they are facing, helping them to develop the skills and confidence to cope with their difficulties.

You could spend time with a young parent helping them to build their confidence as they adapt to life with a  small baby, or support a family who finds it difficult to get out of the house to attend a local drop-in. You might provide an extra pair of hands to a family with several children, or provide a listening ear to a mother who is suffering with postnatal depression.

Have a look at our Volunteer Befriender Role Description or hear from some of our volunteers here to find out a little more.

It’s so rewarding doing this. You can help families learn to trust again, to find hope and help them to find strength to connect with others in their communities

Chantal, Home-Start Volunteer

Volunteer Training and Support

We want to make sure that you are as prepared for your role as possible before supporting families, and so we ask all volunteers to complete our renowned Volunteer Preparation Course. The course aims to develop your skills and prepare you for things you may encounter as a Home-Start volunteer, and includes specialist sessions on speech and language development, post-natal depression, safeguarding, and domestic abuse.

The 24-hour free course usually lasts 6 days spread across 3 weeks. We run our courses in term time and within school hours to make it as accessible as possible to people with young children. We may offer an evening or weekend course in the future, please contact us for more information. 

Throughout the year we run regular additional training days, including sessions on perinatal mental health, breastfeeding support, and supporting families to prepare for starting school, and have social events for volunteers. Once matched with a family you will receive on-going professional support from a family co-ordinator, including regular one-to-one and/or group supervision.

All of your travel expenses are covered.


Apply Now!

We are always looking for people to join our amazing network of volunteers and support local families.

We run Volunteer Preparation Courses four times a year, so if you would like to volunteer with HSWKCHF and support a local family you can apply on-line here, or download and return our application form by post or e-mail, just click here for a copy. You don’t need any particular qualifications, just parenting experience or experience with young children, and to be able to commit to visit a family once a week.

Once we have received your application we will invite you in for an interview. Before supporting a family, you will need to complete the Volunteer Preparation Course and a DBS and reference check. If you have any questions or would like to find out more please contact us on 020 7724 1345, or e-mail our Volunteer Development Officer, Toni: toni@hswestminster.co.uk.

You can also support us as a volunteer trustee. Have a look at our Trustees page for further information.

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