Kirkcaldy charity Home-Start is recruiting volunteers

Home-Start volunteers and board.
Home-Start volunteers and board.

A Kirkcaldy charity that helps families with young children is recruiting volunteers for home visits.

Home-Start Kirkcaldy offers friendship and practical help across Kirkcaldy, Kinghorn, Burntisland and Cardenden.

Mary Cormack, Eleanor Thomson, Home-Start.

Mary Cormack, Eleanor Thomson, Home-Start.

Founded in 1994, it aims to support parents as they learn to cope, improve their confidence and build better lives for their children.

Volunteers will offer help and friendship and share practical experiences with families in their own homes.

They are drawn from a wide cross section of the community, with a variety of ages and backgrounds, and are usually parents themselves.

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Volunteers take part in a preparation course which consists of one day a week for five weeks.

Eleanor Thomson, senior co-ordinator said: “Being a home-visit volunteer is not the easiest voluntary work to do - we always say to people to think it through before they are matched with a family, it is a lot to take on.

“The training is very extensive, and we meet with our volunteers regularly to make sure there are no concerns with the families they are matched with.”

Getting help from Home Start starts with Eleanor and Mary Cormack, co-ordinator at Home-Start visiting a family to outline the charity’s role.

Mary said: “If they want a volunteer to support them we then have a chat about what type of volunteer they might like.

“Some families might not want a man, while others do because there might not be a male role model in their child’s life. They might not want someone younger or older than them.

“With that information to hand, when we meet with the volunteers at the end of the prep course we will talk to them individually to match them with a family that best suits everyone.”

Home-Start also runs a family group every Wednesday from 10.30am till 12pm at Raeburn Community Hall, Raeburn Crescent, Kirkcaldy. It is free, and an opportunity to meet other parents and share experiences.

Emma Gourlay has been a home-visit volunteer for three years.

She joined up after seeing a post on Facebook.

She said: “Some families only need basic support such as help around the house or someone to play with their child.

“Others might need a lot of support.

“And we provide all kinds of support – we help with the kids when the mum has to go to appointments, as well as emotional and practical support.

“I remember when I was growing up I had my family around me to support me.

“There are more and more people isolated in the community now and don’t have that network.

“A lot of people don’t even know who their neighbours are, it is so easy to find yourself with no help.

“It is very rewarding to help these families.

“ You build friendships – you are so much more than just a volunteer to them.”

To find out more contact Mary or Eleanor on 01592 565 285