Everyone needs a bit of help sometimes…
Many parents 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 if going through difficult times.
But if you get the support you need when you need it, then day-to-day family life for you and your children can be so much brighter
Do you ever feel like this?
- Isolated in your community, with no family nearby and struggling to make friends.
- Suffering with post-natal illness but finding it hard to talk to anyone about it.
- Having a hard time coping with your child’s illness.
- Overwhelmed by the death of a loved one.
- Struggling with the emotional and physical demands of having twins, triplets or more.
- Struggling to cope with a disability or relationship problems.
- Tired, unhappy, exhausted.
Home-Start can help you and your family
We help parents in Chichester and the surrounding areas just like you. Our support is mostly for families with at least one child under five, but we can sometimes help if your children are older. Our Home-Start volunteers are parents themselves or parenting experience – so they know just what you’re 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 and keep medical appointments or to find out what else is available locally. You choose.
It’s free and confidential
You don’t have to pay for Home-Start help and it’s confidential. Home-Start volunteers will respect your privacy and never forget that you have invited them into your home.
How can I get support from Home-Start?
If you think Home-Start could help, why not find out more? You can call us on 01243 773477 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be pleased to hear from you. If you do decide to ask for support one of our coordinators, Alyson, Claire or Lois, will get together with you, talk about your needs and carefully match you with a volunteer.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve been referred to Home-Start what happens next?
Your health visitor, midwife, support worker, or your child’s nursery, might have asked if you would like to be referred to Home-Start for support. If that’s the case, once we’ve received your referral form from them, one of the coordinators Alyson, Claire or Lois will be in touch to arrange a time to get together with you, discuss your needs and then carefully match you with a volunteer. It’s your choice if you wish to receive Home-Start support.
What are the volunteers like?
It can feel worrying to have a stranger visit your home. All of our volunteers are parents themselves and they have been fully trained. We carefully match them with you to try to ensure you have the right volunteer for you and your family. All our volunteers will also have undergone criminal records checks to ensure your child’s safety.
What will the volunteer actually do?
The volunteer will visit each week for 2 hours and offer support and practical help. They will do whatever you would find most helpful, for example, help with shopping, appointments, trips to the park, library, parent and toddler groups – or they could stay at home and spend time with you and the children – like a good friend would.
What if I don’t like my volunteer?
We understand that everyone is different. If you don’t get on with your volunteer or you are unhappy with anything – just contact one of the Coordinators and chat things through with them to try to resolve the issue.
What if I change my mind?
That’s fine – just contact us to let us know. You can always come back to Home-Start at a later date.
We have family groups in Midhurst and Chichester. Click here to find out more!
What families say about Home-Start Chichester & District:
Having Claire to talk to was so lovely. She would listen without judgement and was able to hear me, validate me but not try to rescue me or solve my problems. I just needed a kind ear and face to be there so I could off load all the junk that was happening from the big stuff to the really little stuff without fear of being judged or criticised.
This really is a great and much needed service and over the years I have discovered that I am not in a minority of mums having a tough time emotionally, physically, practically or mentally, but actually so many of us struggle as we transition into motherhood, I share the work of Home-Start not just in terms of people using their services but I also encourage people to find out about becoming a volunteer themselves.
I would love to become a volunteer for Home-Start when I am in a position to commit that time. – Nicola
It helped me SO much. My son was very small at the time and his cerebral palsy meant things were a bit tricky in terms of never being able to leave him on his own – not even for a minute – or even put him down. Without any immediate family to help me, Home-Start provided me sanity. The regularity of a volunteer each week meant that I could play much needed catch up! Those two hours of support were beyond words, the best thing I could’ve wished for at the time. The volunteer became a friend I could share my stresses with – again, this was a lifeline. ~ Jade
Helped hugely! I was expecting twins and was totally overwhelmed by it all so having an extra pair of hands was such a relief.
Helped by giving them one-one with either herself or me with the other child, and as they’ve grown given them confidence to try things.
A huge amount was my mental health. We talked loads about my situation and allowed me to totally be myself without judgement. Obviously some of their time was also playing with the children.
I previously lost a child and was extremely worried about these two. I had fears that a lot of people wouldn’t have understood but my volunteer was totally in tune with my situation and was such a help with helping me come to terms with enjoying ‘healthy children’ and not feel guilty about it. ~ Kate