Home-Start Trafford & Salford
Home start is a service which provides support and friendship to families with at least one child under the age of 5 who are struggling to cope with everyday life.
There are a wide range of situations that may compromise optimal parenting, such as loneliness, mental and ill health, disabilities, multiple children, and increasing poverty, therefore support is provided to help prevent crisis and family breakdown.
Home-Start Trafford and Salford is part of a network of over 350 Home-Start schemes across the UK who are all independent, and run by the local community, but share the same common aim of helping parents to provide the best possible start in life for their children.
The service recruit, train and support volunteers who are parents from the local community, to visit families in their own homes for 2-3 hours per week to provide practical help and emotional support. The support provided will vary from family to family, with aims such as helping parents establish household routines, improve children’s behaviour or introduce healthy eating. Specific activities may include: accompanying the family to a park, reading / playing with children or introducing parents to a community service.
All volunteers have a good understanding of the difficulties and challenges faced in raising children and complete a six day training course before being carefully ‘matched’ to a family. Continuous support and ongoing training is provided for volunteers to personally develop and to be able to meet the emerging needs of families.
The Home-Start approach is unique and powerful because the tailor made support is provided by unpaid peers and is not-time limited; it is non statutory therefore not threatening; and is widely accessible so is not stigmatised.
For the last six years the Trafford and Salford service have supported over 100 families per annum.
For more information about receiving help from the scheme or if you would like to become a volunteer visit their website.
In 2011, HS Trafford was asked to manage the neighbouring Salford scheme, due to a funding shortfall in Salford. Without this takeover a vital service for needy Salford families would have been be lost.