Frequently Asked Questions

Family Questions

  • I am not sure if I would benefit from having a volunteer – what should I do?

Give us a call at the office 01672 569457 and have chat with one of our team.

  • I have been referred by my Health Visitor – what happens next?

We will contact you to arrange a suitable time for us to come and see you. We will have a chat about our service and what help you need.

  • I am worried about having a stranger in my home.

We work hard to ensure that your volunteer is right for you. All of our volunteers are selected for their warmth and understanding. They will have all had references taken and undergone a Disclosures and Barring Check and a full induction course.

  • What if I change my mind?

That is fine. Just give us a call and let us know.


About the families we support

  • What sort of problems do the families need help with?

Families supported by Home-Start have a wide range of issues that they are struggling to deal with. Common problems are:


Coping as a single parent

Financial difficulties and debt

Family separation – Military deployment

Family relationship issues

Physical or mental illness of either parent or family member

Domestic abuse


Coping with the arrival of a new baby

  • Which areas does Home-Start Kennet support?

Home- Start Kennet covers an area roughly encompassing Marlborough, Pewsey, Calne, Chippenham, Devizes and Tidworth including all the villages around and between these towns.

  • What happens after a volunteer has been supporting a family for 6 months?

The relationship between the volunteer and the family is managed by one of Home-Start Kennet’s Family Support Organisers (FSO). Their role is to ensure that the support being offered is targeted to the needs of the family and progress is monitored regularly. By monitoring the situation the FSO can ensure that the family is moving forward towards independence. This usually takes up to 6 months. However, some families with more complex needs may need longer and Home-Start will continue to support them, for further 3 month periods, often until they feel able to cope on their own again.

  • What long term difference does Home-Start make to a family?

Evidence taken from feedback from families supported by Home-Start shows that the visit from the volunteer has helped the family regain control of their situation. Simply having someone else to talk through their problems is often enough to relieve the pressure. It is rare to have a family re-referred to Home-Start.

  • What are the criteria for a family to be referred to Home-Start?

The only criteria are that the family must have one child under the age of 5.

  • Who refers families to Home-Start?

Most referrals come from health visitors but other agencies that refer families include the Army Welfare Service, doctor and children’s centres. Families can also self-refer.


About the volunteers

  • How do prospective volunteers get in touch?

Volunteers can look at the volunteer section of our website or ring the office in Pewsey on 01672 569 457 or email to find out more information and to find out when the next training course is being held.

  • Do volunteers need training?

All Home-Start Kennet volunteers have to attend our comprehensive 40 hour training course delivered by the Scheme Manager and FSOs.  This covers vital aspects of becoming a volunteer and equips the volunteers to become a successful volunteer. There is also the opportunity to take training to accreditation for those who would like to.

  • What skills do volunteers need?

All Home-Start volunteers must be parents themselves as we believe this gives them insight into what it’s like to have young children. Other than that we look for volunteers who show empathy for others, are non-judgemental and generally have a caring nature.

  • Can men be volunteers?

As long as they have parenting experience then yes.

  • Do volunteers get paid expenses?

Volunteers are paid for their mileage to and from the family they are visiting. They are also paid for their mileage to attend the compulsory training course.

  • What happens in an emergency?

If faced with an emergency situation volunteers should call the Pewsey office for advice and guidance. The office is manned throughout the week. If for any reason there is no one available to take the call then they should call one of the FSOs. Volunteers will be supplied with mobile phone numbers for all the Family Support Organisers.