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 – Volunteer

Do you have experience with young children and have two hours to spare a week?

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


Volunteer Family Befriender Opportunity

Who are we looking for?
We are looking for people who:

  • have parenting experience, experience with young children or comparable life experience
  • want to help and support local families
  • can commit to attend our Volunteer Preparation Course and spare 2-3 hours a week on a regular basis

As a befriender, you will be carefully matched with a local family, offering them personalised, flexible, non-judgemental support and friendship. Your role as a befriender will vary depending on the family’s circumstance. You may be supporting them to manage the pressures and develop the skills they need to cope. You may 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. 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.

Volunteer Training and Support
We want to make sure that you are as prepared as possible for your role before supporting families, and so we ask all volunteers to complete our Volunteer Preparation Course. This runs four times a year, and it usually lasts 6 days spread across 3 weeks. The Preparation 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.

Throughout the year we also run regular additional training days, enhancing your skills with sessions such as perinatal mental health, breastfeeding support, supporting families to prepare for starting school, and most importantly, our fun volunteer social events! Our courses are delivered in term time and within school hours to make it as accessible as possible for people with young children. We may offer an evening or weekend course in the future, please contact us for more information.

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 your travel expenses are covered.


Next Preparation Course:
2024 courses will be delivered in February, May, September and November.

Dates will be announced in due course and published on this page.
(Travel expenses reimbursed). 



See our Volunteer Befriending Role Description | Hear from our volunteers about their experience


How to Apply
To apply, please complete our online form using the link below.
Once received, we will invite you for an interview. Before supporting a family, you will need to complete our Volunteer Preparation Course, and an enhanced DBS and references check.

If you have questions and to find out more, please contact Toni, Volunteer Development Officer:
020 7724 1345 | toni@hswestminster.co.uk


 “The training was careful and detailed, encouraging participation and considered sharing between trainer and the other participants, and I never felt anything other than supported during the session, and was able to understand a wide range of perspectives that were not in my personal experiences…..All this prepared me well for my first family”

Charlie – Volunteer

Volunteer Trustee Opportunity

You can also support us as a volunteer trustee. Please visit our Trustees page for further information. If you are interested in this opportunity or have any questions, please call us on 020 7724 1345 or email admin@hswestminster.co.uk