Frequently Asked Questions

How much time do you expect from each volunteer?

Each role is different in their requirements. We ask all our volunteers to commit to a year of volunteering, and usually it is only 1-2 hours per week of your time. 

Do I need any qualifications/prior experience to volunteer?

You will receive the training required for the volunteering roles from Starting Well and do not need any qualifications to apply. 

Some of our roles will suit those with parenting experience best, however we will talk to you about this when you apply to help identify the best role for you.

Our breastfeeding peer support role is aimed at volunteers who have successfully breastfed at least one child for a minimum of 3 months. 

Do I need to pay for my DBS check?

No, the Starting Well Partnership will cover the cost of your DBS check.

Can I volunteer if I have a criminal record?

As part of our recruitment process we will ask you to disclose any previous convictions. These will be considered on an individual basis (e.g. type of offence, how long ago it was, what has happened in your life since this) and we will make a decision about the suitability of the role you have applied for based on this information. We may also complete a risk assessment as part of this process if it is appropriate and we will share this with you.

There may be certain opportunities which are not appropriate based on the nature of the offence you have disclosed but we will discuss this with you as part of the recruitment process to find out more information.

Will I be required to travel as part of my role?

Vacancies for our volunteering opportunities vary between family hubs. This means that there may be times when we ask a volunteer if they'd be happy to be based in a hub which isn't in their immediate local area. This will always be in agreement with you as the volunteer and we will always look at options to volunteer in your chosen hub where possible.

Some of our roles potentially involve more travel than others e.g. Parenting peer support when parenting groups run from venues like schools and community centers as well as our buildings. You will be made aware of this when you intially contact us and we will discuss different options with you so you can make a decision about which role will be most practical for you.

Driving or having access to your own transport is not a requirement for any of our voluntary roles, however you will need to make your own arrangements to travel to our hubs or community venues (e.g. use of public transport).

What training is involved?

Each partner within the Starting Well Partnership will have their own training and recruitment process which they will guide you through. Different volunteering roles also have slightly different training requirements.

You can expect to be introduced to areas including Safeguarding and Confidentiality and your Volunteer Coordinator will be able to discuss any accessibility or support needs with you to enable you to complete the training.

Can I bring my child/ren with me when I volunteer?

In practice we find that it can be really challenging for caregivers to volunteer and take a responsible role within a group at the same time as caring for their own child. For this reason we would ask you to arrange alternative child care during the time that you are volunteering with us. 

The exception to this is that Breastfeeding peer support volunteers may bring their baby with them to groups if they are still breastfeeding regularly, and the child is not yet at an age where they are toddling.

Is there an age limit to volunteer?

Due to the nature of our voluntary roles we require volunteers to be aged 18 years+. We do not have an upper age limit!

Do I have to deliver if I am supporting a parenting group?

No, Our parenting peer support role involves volunteers supporting groups is a variety of ways. If you feel confident enough to deliver in front of the group then this is something you can be involved in, however this will be based on your own levels of confidence. Some volunteers choose to take the role of an observer in the group for a term or two before they get involved in group delivery.

Can I claim expenses as a volunteer?

Yes, We encourage volunteers to claim for any out of pocket expenses incurred as a direct result of their voluntary role. This includes mileage and public transport costs. Each organisation has their own process for expenses claims which will be discussed with you.

What happens after the training?

After the training you will be invited to the Family Hub at your chosen location to complete a hub induction with the Volunteer Coordinator.