What We Do

Everyone needs a bit of help sometimes…

Many parents, Dads as well as Mums, need help, friendship, advice or support during those early years when children are young. There is no rulebook for raising a family and sometimes it can seem overwhelming, particularly if your family is going through difficult times. But if you can get the support you need when you need it, then day-to-day family life and your children’s future can be so much brighter.

You could benefit from Home-Start’s help if:

  • you are feeling lonely or isolated in your community, have no family nearby and are struggling to make friends;
  • you are finding it hard to cope if your child is ill or because your are ill;
  • you are feeling overwhelmed by the death of a loved one;
  • you are struggling with the emotional and physical demands of having a new baby, young children, twins, triplets or more;
  • you are struggling to cope with a disability;
  • you are experiencing relationship problems;
  • you are keen to breastfeed your baby but are finding it difficult;
  • you need help with practical things like budgeting, healthy cooking, routines in the home;
  • you would like to know what is available for parents and children locally but don’t know where to go or don’t have the confidence to find out or join in;
  • you are feeling tired, unhappy, exhausted.

If you have at least one child under seven and you live in the West Somerset Council boundary then we can help. We have been supporting parents just like you since 2002 through our trained Home-Start volunteers. They are people who have parenting experience themselves so they know just what you are going through. They will visit you in your own home, usually once a week. You decide what you will do together.

Maybe you need someone to talk to who won’t judge you; a shoulder to cry on or perhaps someone to play with or read to your children; maybe a bit of support to make or keep medical appointments or to find out what else is available locally. You decide. (But please note that our volunteers are not available for cleaning or babysitting!)

“You have a friend, a non-judgemental ear, practical help and advice to suit your needs. It’s free, its comes to you, it’s flexible and adaptable, you feel helped and cared about and in good, safe hands. It’s the personal touch and the selfless giving that make it so unique and special – it is worth more than words can possibly say and has been a vital part of my moving forward successfully”

A Person

You don’t have to pay for Home-Start’s help and it’s confidential (except in very rare circumstances when there is a serious concern for the welfare of a child, when the appropriate authority would have to be informed). Home-Start volunteers will respect your privacy and never forget that you have invited them into your home.

You can rest assured that your volunteer will have been fully trained and carefully matched with you. They will also have undergone a DBS check to ensure your child’s safety and will receive regular supervision from one of the professional organisers.

All you have to do is ask!!

If you think Home-Start West Somerset could help you in your current circumstances you can either fill in our Get Support form yourself or ask your health visitor to make a referral for you. It’s easy.

Once you have asked for help one of the organisers will phone you to arrange to visit you so that you can discuss your needs and they can make the best possible match with a volunteer.

Your volunteer will then visit you at home for a couple of hours each week. You choose to have a Home-Start volunteer and you decide when Home-Start support should stop. We are just there to help you over a rough spot.

“The help we have received has been nothing short of outstanding and without the support of the Home-Start team we would have been at a loose end many times over”

Home-Start West Somerset family