Befriending/Mentoring Home Support

Home Start (South & West Devon)

Name: Befriending/Mentoring Home Support
Organisation: Home Start (South & West Devon)
Location: The Plympton Hub, Avon House, 163 Ridgeway, Plympton, Plymouth, Devon, PL7 2HJ
Type: Part Time


(18+) To offer support, friendship and practical help to families with young children under stress in their own homes, and/or helping on targeted Family Support Courses - families need to be referred or can self refer.

This role is suitable for any volunteers 18 years or older but whom must have parenting experience.

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Organisation Description

Home-Start (South and West Devon) covers the South Hams, Plymouth, Tavistock, Okehampton and Torbay.
The service was set up by a dedicated group of Trustees in 1999. Since then it has offered one-to-one befriending and mentoring support to over 1,500 families and trained over 500 local volunteers.

Some of the original Trustees are still involved in the management of the Scheme. The day-to-day running of the service is undertaken by a hard working staff team, who support the amazing home-visiting volunteers. The volunteers, around 120 at present, are the service.

The Scheme has seen the needs of the community evolve over the years with families facing ever more complex issues, including rural isolation, depression and mental health difficulties, financial difficulties and relationship breakdown.

Once matched to a family, a volunteer offers emotional and practical support for a couple of hours a week over an extended period of usually around a year. Support is managed and monitored by a paid coordinator with 90% of families reporting an improvement in their situation as a result of support. Home-visiting includes support for families attending targeted courses.

Home Start have trained home-visiting volunteers who visit families for 2-3 hours each week. The families supported have at least one child under the age of 12 and are under stress for various reasons - e.g. isolation (social or physical), post natal depression, multiple children under 5 etc. Volunteers help to 'enable' the family by offering emotional and practical support and signposting.


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Cause / Interests

  • Children
  • Families

Types of Activity

  • Advice, Information and Support
  • Befriending and Buddying
  • General and Helping

Skills and Qualifications


The volunteer must have previous parenting experience and a non-judgmental attitude.

Additional/Specific Suitabilities

Minimum Age: 18
Maximum Age: NA
Disabled Access: Yes
Wheelchair Access: No
Expenses: Yes
Restrictions: NA
Induction: Yes
Insurance Cover: Yes
Special Needs: NA
Offer: Yes, Volunteers must complete initial training followed by regular additional awareness raising training (e.g. domestic abuse, drug and alcohol awareness, child development etc).
Training: 1 day per week over 8 weeks
Other: Please Note: A DBS check is required for this role. Please contact the volunteer co-ordinator by telephone/email or both.

Recruitment Method

Application form, Informal discussion, References, Trial Period, DBS Check