“The support me and my daughter got from our Home-Start volunteer was invaluable. The autism groups were fabulous too. Thank you Home-Start.”

Home-Start supported family

No special qualifications are necessary to become a Home-Start volunteer, but volunteers are usually parents or grandparents with an interest in, and experience of, young children and family life. We welcome volunteers from a range of backgrounds, genders and cultural beliefs.

Talking and listening can empower families to overcome their difficult situations. Volunteers are offered on-going training and support and supervision. Some of our volunteers are retired and want to make good use of their spare time, others are younger and want to use their Home-Start experience as a stepping stone to further education or to enhance their career prospects.

Regardless of your reasons, we’d love to hear from you.

What is takes to be a Home-Start volunteer

  • You must be a parent or have parenting experience.
  • As a Home-Start volunteer you will support a family by visiting them at home for around two to three hours once a week.
  • You should be able to commit at least one year of your time to Home-Start.
  • You should have a non-judgmental attitude and understand about the pressures of bringing up a family.
  • You will have to attend our free Volunteer Preparation Course with other new volunteers before meeting your first family.
  • When visiting a family travel expenses are paid.
  • You must understand that your support for families is completely confidential.
  • You will have to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service check at enhanced level.
  • You will meet regularly with, and be supported by, one of our coordinators during the time you are visiting families.


Home-Start recruits parent volunteers from the heart of the community, to offer practical & emotional support for local families.

There are various volunteer opportunities within Home-Start Rochdale and Bury. We have home visiting volunteers, volunteers who help support with admin tasks, group support volunteers, volunteers who help with DIY tasks, and Trustees who manage the charity overall.

Home-Start Coordinators provide regular support and supervision sessions for volunteers who deliver home visiting and group support. They are always at the end of the phone for advice and guidance if needed. Coordinators support volunteers to build on a wealth of practical experiences in supporting families in the community.

Following on from the volunteer Course of Preparation, the volunteers access additional training in Safeguarding, Autism Awareness, BME Awareness and PIMHS (Parent Infant Mental Health).Volunteering for Home-Start can be a stepping stone into a future career or training opportunity.

We ask all new volunteers to commit at least 12 months support for our charity, to ensure families receive continuous help. Many volunteers have left the scheme by gaining employment in childcare within Children’s Centres, Young Carers, School mentoring, Education Welfare and many more. Volunteers have gained employment within Home-Start schemes in Rochdale and Bury and across Greater Manchester.

To volunteer for Home-Start you must have parenting experience or be a parent yourself. You will then undergo a Course of Preparation with your Coordinator and other interested volunteers. A DBS check and two references are also required.

Our families tell us that our volunteers have such an impact on their lives, but we know that volunteering for Home-Start also has a positive impact on our volunteers’ lives too. Watch our Volunteer Army film and hear what some of our volunteers say.

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