About Home-Start

Home-Start is a voluntary organisation committed to promoting the welfare of families with at least one child under five years of age.

Who we are

Home-Start is one of the UK’s leading family support charities. Our ethos is to help parents build better lives and better futures for their children. At Home-Start Elmbridge we do this by recruiting and training local parent volunteers to offer practical and emotional support to families in their own homes. We also have dedicated Carer Support Co-ordinators who support families with illness, disability or additional needs and we offer other types of support such as a Parenthood Support Group, crisis support and counselling.

The Home-Start Elmbridge Team

  •  Scheme Manager: Carol Hodges
  • Senior Family Support Co-ordinator:  Tracy Smith
  • Family Support Co-ordinator: Rebecca Kingsnorth
  • Family Support Co-ordinator: Cathy Perea
  • Family Support Co-ordinator: Christine Mundy
  • Family Support Co-ordinator Over 5’s project: Carol Robins
  • Carer Support Family Co-ordinator: Nikki Nichols
  • Development Officer: Olive Leach
  • Charity Project and Support Officer: Debbie Groves
  • Administrator: Kate Chicken

Helping families in Elmbridge. Since April 2019 we have supported…




What we do

Home-Start wants to see a society in which every parent has the support they need to give their children the best possible start in life.
The criteria for our support is:

  • The family has a child under five
  • They live in the Borough of Elmbridge
  • The family has a need and would benefit from weekly volunteer support or specialised support from our other services
  • The family has given consent for referral (if referred by outside agency)

Areas we cover

Home-Start Elmbridge serves the Borough of Elmbridge.

Frequently Asked Questions


Will people think I’m a ‘bad parent’ if I have to ask for support from Home-Start?
No-one from Home-Start will think you are a ‘bad’ parent. All parents go through difficult times at some point in their lives; all we want to do is help you if we can.
How do I go about getting a Home-Start volunteer?
Just give us a call on 0203 757 7220 or email us at enquiries@home-start-elmbridge.org.uk and we will contact you. Or if you have a health visitor or social worker ask them to refer you to us.
How do you decide which volunteer would be best for me?
When you are referred to us a member of staff will come out and see you to ask you about the kind of help you think you need.

We will also ask you about the kind of volunteer you would prefer; some parents prefer a volunteer who is quite a bit older whilst others would prefer to have someone of similar age and who have experienced the same kind of problems.

The organiser will then try to match you with an available volunteer.

If a health visitor or social worker thinks I need a volunteer will I be made to have one even if I don’t want one?
No-one can be made to have our support. Home-Start is about choice – we only want to give it if you want us too.
How would a volunteer help me?
Your volunteer will be there to listen to you and give you encouragement; they will offer you emotional and practical support.

For at least 2 hours every week you will have someone who is there to help you and who you can share things with.

Who will know that Home-Start is supporting me?
The only people who will know are you, staff at Home-Start, your volunteer and the person who referred you to us.

All information is treated in the strictest confidence except where a child is perceived to be at risk of harm.


I would like to be a volunteer but am worried whether I will be able to do it. I don’t want to feel a failure. What help will I get from Home-Start?
We want volunteers who are local people who have parenting experience and who genuinely want to support families who need help.

Without our volunteers we would not be able to deliver our service.

We provide training for new volunteers which lasts for 10 weeks; at the training sessions you will be able to ask questions and meet existing volunteers.

You will be able to ring us any time and we will want to see you for support sessions at regular times through the year.

I haven’t done any training for years and I didn’t do very well at school. Will there be a lot of writing involved in the training or a test at the end?
We keep writing to an absolute minimum and there are no tests.

We aim to make the preparation course as enjoyable and ‘hands on’ as possible.

What kinds of things would I be doing with my family?
It depends on the type of support your family might need.

They might want help in taking their children to the park; or they might want you to go to the local children’s centre with them; or they might just want someone to talk to; or they might want help in organising their home or money.

Before we match you up with a family we tell you about the type of support they need and then you decide if you can meet that need.

Directors / Trustees

Will I need to have a professional skill to be a trustee?
No, we require some trustees with professional skills but we are also looking for people who have experience of organising and common sense and who are happy to give their time.

You will be able to ring us any time and we will want to see you for support sessions at regular times through the year.

Will I be at risk financially if things go wrong with Home-Start Elmbridge?
No, we are a company limited by guarantee, which means that the board members are not personally liable for financial difficulties in the charity.

Current vacancies

Job Vacancies

Sorry! None at the moment!




Home Visiting Volunteers

Could you make a difference to young families?

Home-Start Elmbridge are looking for volunteers with parenting experience to offer support and friendship to local families.

Many parents need help, friendship, advice or support during those early years before children go off to school and your experience as a parent can help other families.

We are currently looking for Home-Visiting volunteers to offer one to one practical and emotional support to local families in the families own homes, for 2 hours a week.

The only real ‘qualification’ you need to become a Home-Start volunteer is experience of bringing up children. You will be friendly and understanding and have a practical approach to problems. You don’t judge people, you accept them for what they are and then strive to support them as they try to give their children the best possible start in life.

You will be thoroughly trained and supported before and during your time with a family and all expenses will be reimbursed.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact the office for further information or call us on 0203 7577 220. CLICK HERE to download Volunteer Application Form.

Volunteer Directors / Trustees

We would like to increase the number of volunteer trustees on our board to assist with the management and administration of Home Start Elmbridge. The role of the board is to be responsible for providing strategic direction, management of the charity to meet all legal and financial requirements and maintain effective administration of the organisation.

We are looking for people who have skills such as:

  • General business management
  • Financial and legal expertise
  • Human resources experience
  • PR & media skills
  • Knowledge of family support issues in the community

We have a minimum of six meetings a year held locally and you would also be required to spend an additional 10 hours a month (approximately). The office is based in Walton-on-Thames.

All trustees undergo a criminal record check at enhanced level and must commit to the legal responsibilities of the role. Please note that Home Start Elmbridge is a company limited by guarantee and as such trustees and people running the company are protected from personal liability for the company’s debts.

If you feel you could help this great organisation please contact the office on: 0203 757 7220 or enquiries@home-start-elmbridge.org.uk

Become a Home-Start Volunteer Today

Home-Start’s team of trained volunteers make sure a child’s early years count. By volunteering just a few hours each week you can transform the lives of young children and their parents in your community.
Find out moreDownload application form