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FAQs

For Volunteers

How do I apply to be a volunteer?

This page here will give you further details.

Please click here to download an application form

or contact us for more information on:

01204 362786

What qualifications do I need?

listeningWe look for qualities rather than qualifications. You don't need any prior qualifications as we provide our own training; most of all, we value interpersonal skills and life experience. A caring, warm attitude and a willingness to help others are essential.

How much time do I need to give?

We need you to be reliable and give up 2-3 hours of your time a week. This is generally how long the weekly preparation course sessions last and how long your visit to the family should last once a week.

How much does the training cost?

The training is free. You will be required to complete the mandatory ten session preparation course and then volunteer for a minimum of 6 months. We provide ongoing taster and training sessions on a variety of topics such as safeguarding and drugs awareness, which are also free.

I have a criminal conviction that will show on my Enhanced Criminal Records check. Will I still be able to volunteer?

It is possible that you may still be able to volunteer. It is important that you are honest; if you declare a caution or offence when you apply, we will discuss this with you. If we receive your CRB with an offence or caution that you have not declared, the process stops completely and you will not be able to volunteer for us.

What if my circumstances change and I need a break?

If you need a break, but would be happy to volunteer again in the future, we class you as 'resting'. We keep your file but do not seek to actively link you with a family. This can be for reasons ranging from illness to temporary employment. You can call us at any time to reverse this, and we will be happy to find a new family for you.

I don't want to be a 'home visiting' volunteer.
Are there any other ways I can help?

Yes, there are other ways you can help us as an organisation. For example, you may have appropriate business skills such as marketing, HR or accounts and wish to join or support our Board of trustees and advisors. Please contact the Manager, Sufrana Ismail.

You may wish to put your fundraising abilities to use to help us raise money to continue providing our invaluable service to vulnerable families across Bolton.

For Families

I have days where I can't cope, but some days I'm OK.
I don't know if my situation is bad enough to qualify for a volunteer.
I don't want to waste anyone's time. What should I do?

Ring up and have an informal chat with one of our co-ordinators and they will decide with you what your needs are and if Home-Start can help you.

I'm worried about having a stranger visit me.
What are the volunteers like?

listeningOur co-ordinators carefully match you with a volunteer who is right for you. Our volunteers possess a warm, understanding and non-judgemental attitude. We take out two references on each volunteer, and a Criminal Records Bureau Enhanced Disclosure. The volunteers undergo a lot of training to get them ready to meet you for the first time, and support you and your family.

How long can I keep my volunteer?

You can keep your volunteer for as long as you feel you need support; the only restriction is that you must be looking after at least one child under the age of five. The Home-Start co-ordinators review your needs regularly, and as long as you still meet our criteria, you can keep your volunteer as long as you wish.

What if I decide I no longer need my volunteer?

All you need to do is give us a call and let us know. Then your designated co-ordinator will come to your house to do a final visit, and after that we can close your file and allocate your volunteer to another family.