Home-Start North Dorset

← Back | Last updated on 12 Oct 2022

About Organisation

Home-Start North Dorset is a local charity which has provided invaluable support and friendship to families in the area since 2011 and has achieved positive outcomes for hundreds of families living in the community. Home-Start North Dorset provides support to parents with at least one child under 5 who are going through a difficult time. Being a parent, whatever your situation, can be very challenging, especially when children are young. Many parents feel exhausted and overwhelmed by the stresses of family life. For some parents it’s a particular struggle because they are also coping with issues such as post-natal depression, their or their child’s illness or disability, isolation or multiple births. That’s when parents need support.

That’s when Home-Start North Dorset can help. We recruit and train volunteers then carefully match each with a family in need of support. Volunteers come from all walks of life, with one thing in common, they have 24-hour parenting experience, with 2- or 3-hours free time available each week to help provide emotional and practical help to local families. Support is confidential, flexible and totally responsive to the family’s needs, and in some cases, volunteers provide support to families in group setting. This friendly parent-to-parent support is a simple yet effective way of enabling families to get back on track.

Home-Start North Dorset may be able to help by offering you volunteer home visiting support, or you may wish to attend one of the Family Groups if you:

  • live in or around Blandford Forum, Gillingham, Shaftesbury, Stalbridge and Sturminster Newton areas of North Dorset
  • have one or more children under the age of 5
  • are in need of a little extra help

There are many reasons why you may choose Home-Start. Perhaps you are:

  • feeling isolated, maybe with no family nearby and struggling to make friends
  • need to access local support or community groups
  • in financial difficulties
  • suffering with post-natal depression and maybe finding it hard to talk to anyone about it
  • having a hard time coping with your child’s illness or disability
  • affected by the death of a family member
  • struggling with the emotional and practical demands of twins, triplets or children under 5
  • finding it hard to cope with relationship difficulties
  • feeling exhausted or depressed
  • coping with your own illness or disability

All support as described above can also be offered remotely through our digital support service. This includes video calling, telephone calls or texting. We also provide group family support and more information on this can be found on our group page.

Our volunteers are there to offer emotional and practical support. Our support is confidential, flexible and responsive to your needs and can include:

  • being a listening ear
  • adult company
  • helping and playing with your children
  • giving reassurance
  • helping you to find out about and access other local amenities and services
  • giving encouragement and motivation
  • giving practical help

If you are a parent looking for support, please phone us on 01258 473038 or visit our Contact Page to ask for a referral form. The form is simple; you can complete it yourself but please phone our office if you need help with this or ask someone else such as your GP or health visitor to do it for you. The information you provide will help us ensure that the support you receive is appropriate and effective.

Once we receive your completed referral form, we will contact you and arrange to visit to discuss what issues your family is having to deal with, what support is needed and how we may be able to help you. Home-Start North Dorset is an independent and confidential volunteer service – we only support you at your request.

Home-Start North Dorset
01258 473 038
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Old Market Hill
Sturminster Newton, DT10 1FH
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