Oil firm helps North-east charity in drive to recruit and train volunteers

The donation willhelp finance the cost of recruiting and training 20 new home-visiting volunteers
The donation willhelp finance the cost of recruiting and training 20 new home-visiting volunteers

Local charity Home-Start Aberdeen has received a funding boost of more than £8,000 from oil firm Apache North Sea.

The donation will help finance the cost of recruiting and training 20 new home-visiting volunteers.

Home-Start Aberdeen provides practical and emotional support to families with young children through the provision of trained, supportive volunteers who visit families in their own homes on a weekly basis.

Volunteers support families who could be facing a number of challenges such as isolation, physical and/or mental health problems, bereavement and post-natal depression.

The range of support can vary from modelling good parenting practice, help with caring for twins or multiple births, setting boundaries and routines, listening and encouraging and help with accessing other support services.

Eleanor McEwan, general manager for Home-Start Aberdeen, said: “Thanks to the donation from Apache we will be able to fund the recruitment, induction, training and matching of a number of new volunteers with local families who currently need our support.

“There has been a changing landscape of available volunteers in Aberdeen over the last few years. We’ve seen a reduction in volunteering with more people returning to paid work, rather than being available to take on voluntary opportunities and positions.

"Furthermore we’ve recognised that the length of time someone volunteers with us is shortening. Historically, volunteers have remained with us for a number of years, whereas now they are more likely to volunteer for a shorter period of time, using the skills and increased confidence gained from the volunteering experience to move into paid employment.

"“This is obviously a fantastic outcome in itself as we’re helping to upskill people in our local communities and workforce, so as well as providing direct support to families, we’re also providing an indirect benefit to our volunteers.

"At the same time it does mean that we continually require an ongoing pool of people interested, able and trained to volunteer with us.”

Home-Start Aberdeen provide a unique, comprehensive eight-week training and volunteer preparation course for potential volunteers.

In addition to training, all volunteers are fully background checked before being carefully matched with individual families to best fit support needs.

The trained volunteers, backed by expert staff, then provide weekly home-visiting support to parents as they learn to cope, improve their confidence and build better lives for their children.

Eleanor added: "There’s a clear cost involved with such a considered and thorough approach to recruitment and training but it’s important for all parties to get this right.

“Following Home-Start’s support, over 90% of parents see significant improvements in their own and their children’s emotional and physical health and wellbeing, whilst our volunteers often establish life changing and compassionate bonds with the children and families they support.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering opportunities with Home-Start Aberdeen should contact its office on 01224 693545 or email volunteering@homestartaberdeen.org.uk