HENRY and Family Lives – Healthy Start Mentor

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Details of the Charity:

Family Lives is a charity with over three decades of experience helping parents to deal with the changes that are a constant part of family life. We know that many people play active roles in raising children, from dads and mums, grandparents, stepparents and non-resident parents. Our role is to support all of you to achieve the best relationship possible with the children that you care about, as well as supporting parenting professionals. We believe that happy children come from happy families and currently support families to improve the outcomes for over 1 million children each year.

Details of the Volunteering Opportunity:

PURPOSE:               

To deliver HENRY’s 8-week evidence-based 1-to-1 intervention, Right from the Start with HENRY, to local families.  This intervention will help parents make positive changes to their family lifestyle, provide the best possible start in life for their young children – and enable the whole family to live longer, healthier and happier lives.

SUPERVISED BY:    Family Support Co-ordinator (Family Lives)

ACTIVITIES:             

Volunteers will be fully supervised, supported and trained to provide the following activities:

  • maintaining contact and building relationships with individual parents
  • supporting families on a 1-to-1 basis either in the family home or in community settings (such as children centres or similar) over a 8-10 week period to deliver the HENRY intervention and enable parents to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to make changes to their family lifestyle
  • using HENRY’s resources to support families and to record the progress made
  • reflecting on what is working well to support the family and what more could be done
  • working on a regular basis as agreed with the local project lead in accordance with agreed project policies and procedures.

VOLUNTEER COMMITMENT:

  • Attend all volunteer training sessions
  • Maintain confidentiality (according to guidelines of project) and follow the other policies and procedures of the project
  • Provide brief records of every contact with families, as directed by the project lead
  • Participate in regular support,  supervision meetings and learning sessions (called Practice Development Groups) with the line manager, as agreed
  • Work within agreed systems which are designed to ensure volunteer safety

TIME COMMITMENT:

We are looking for volunteers who are able to commit to:

  • supporting at least 1 family a week for 8 – 10 weeks – this will involve approximately 3 hours per family a week
  • participation in initial training (approximately 25 hours over 4 days)
  • regular attendance at support meetings:
    • 2 hour individual supervision every 6 weeks
    • 2 hour Practice Development Group every 6 weeks
    • 1 hour appraisal every 6 months

The ideal minimum commitment is 12 months and there is a probationary period of 6 months.

LOCATION:   

Working at various community venues and family homes within Ealing borough

WHAT VOLUNTEERS WON’T BE EXPECTED TO DO:

  • Communicate with services directly on behalf of families e.g. by engaging with practitioners at statutory meetings or by making telephone calls to services.
  • Undertake practical support e.g. shopping, housework etc. on behalf of the family – although volunteers and parents may sometimes agree to shop for food together and prepare a simple meal.
  • Offer childcare/respite care.
  • Transport a parent or any family member in their own vehicle for any reason.

Skills you Require from the Applicant:

We are looking for individuals who:

  • have experience of parenting/being in a parenting role or demonstrable experience of working with parents or children e.g. in their work, previous volunteering or a previous role
  • are good listeners and have an ability to empathise with all parents regardless of race, gender, age, religion or belief, nationality, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability
  • are interested in healthy lifestyle issues and passionate about babies and children having the best start in life
  • are willing to question their attitudes to their own or others’ health and lifestyle
  • can remain open minded and non-judgemental
  • are willing to use IT skills as part of the necessary record-keeping and communication for the project: full training will be given
  • are willing to commit to work within HENRY and Family Lives’ policies, in particular our confidentiality policy and safeguarding procedures, ensuring that HENRY and Family Lives can keep the volunteer, as well as the families using the service, safe at all times
  • are willing to commit to attending regular supervision and support sessions with the Family Lives project lead
  • are able to work individually as well as part of a team
  • are prepared to travel to local venues and events
  • are willing to commit to undertake HENRY and Family Lives training
  • are willing and able to give a 12 months commitment to the project

Additional Benefits to the Volunteer:

  • Increased knowledge of providing the best start for babies and young children using an evidence-based programme
  • Satisfaction in making a real and lasting difference to families and helping to ensure the best start in life for babies and young children
  • An opportunity to develop experience, skills and knowledge for career development, as well as references: HENRY and Family Lives are committed to helping volunteers develop their own learning and development through the project
  • Being part of a team
  • Personal development and skills training
  • Opportunities to meet and interact with a wide range of people
  • Out of pocket expenses reimbursed
  • Flexible hours


Interested? Apply below:

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