Family support befriender - phone and online

Home-Start Arun, Worthing & Adur

Register your Interest

Do you have parenting experience (as a mum, dad, grandparent, carer or nanny)? Can you empathise with families with young children? Are you happy to chat on the phone or online?  Are you looking for an ongoing volunteer role? Can you spare 2 hours a week?  If so, we'd love to hear from you. 

 This is a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills, meet new friends and support families within your community - while staying COVID safe.

As a Family Support Befriender your role will be to provide emotional support to families who may be struggling to cope. You will offer support in a way that works for you both; this may be chatting to them on the phone weekly or through other digital platforms such as Zoom. Through your conversations, you will be supporting parents through a variety of issues,  offering advice and sharing your own experiences.

About Home-Start

Home-Start is a charity which believes the best start in life for a child begins at home with their family. To us, every family is special and our volunteers work with families, with at least one child under 5, in their own homes to help them cope when times get tough. We believe strong families raise happy children, helping them grow up to be the better parents of tomorrow. 

Every year we support around 200 families and 450 children with the help of 80 amazing volunteers. 

Why we need your help

Our families face a variety of challenges including; post-natal depression, isolation, physical and mental health problems, disability, bereavement, job losses, financial worries or relationship difficulties - all of which can have a huge impact on the wellbeing of their children.  And of course, COVID has made life even tougher for them. 

With your knowledge and experience as a mum, dad, grandparent, carer or nanny, you could be the vital support a family needs to get them through a difficult time and make a big difference to their lives.

Once you've completed your initial training, we match you with a family and ask you make contact with them every week for an agreed period of time.  

Volunteer training

All volunteers are required to complete training to prepare them for their volunteer role.

The initial training involves 4 x 2 hour sessions. It will give you the opportunity to ask questions and understand the importance of your role, whilst also giving staff the time to get to know you, so that they can match you with the right family.

Our training is designed by family practitioners and experts in the industry and covers essential information including:

  • The role of a Home-Start volunteer
  • Values, attitudes and inclusivity
  • Confidentiality
  • Listening and communication
  • Meeting the needs of families and children
  • Safeguarding

Once you're volunteering, our friendly staff are in regular contact to give you the support you need to make a difference to families and enjoy your experience.


The only real 'qualification' you need to become a Home-Start volunteer is experience of bringing up children - as a mum, dad, grandparent, carer or nanny.

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.

And of course, you should be comfortable talking to people on the phone or online. 


Our volunteers tell us that the best thing about volunteering for Home-Start is the satisfaction they get from helping a family support their children to thrive. 

Volunteers also really value the high quality training we offer - not only when they first join us but throughout their time as a Home-Start volunteer. 

We are a very friendly bunch! There are lots of opportunities to join in fun social and fundraising activities and make new friends. 

Practical Considerations

You will be doing this role from home and so will need a phone and an internet connection. 

We will reimburse you for the cost of your calls. 

When do I need to be available?

Details Volunteers contact families during the day. There is no evening or weekend volunteering.
Morning Afternoon Evening

Register your Interest

  • Details
  • Equal Opportunities Policy or Statement
  • Expenses
    All phone expenses are reimbursed
  • Health and Safety
  • Induction
  • Insurance Cover for Volunteers
  • Other
    A successful enhanced DBS check is mandatory
  • Suitable for 13 - 16 years
  • Suitable for 16 - 18 years
  • Suitable for a group of volunteers
  • Suitable only for (e.g. 18+, LGBT, BAME, Women only)
  • Support on Offer
    Regular support and supervision is mandatory
  • This role is adaptable for different abilities
  • Training
    Currently Telephone Befriender training is offered - 2 hours per day over 4 days. Top-up training will be given to those who wish to home-visit once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. Many other learning opportunities are offered.