How can Home-Start Norfolk help you?

Home-Start Norfolk recruits and trains volunteers with parenting experience to visit parents with young children under the age of five years at home and in their local community.

Support from Home-Start Norfolk

Close up of baby with mother behind

Home-Start Norfolk recruits and trains volunteers with parenting experience to visit parents with young children under the age of five years at home. Our volunteers undergo a thorough training programme to prepare them for their role and receive ongoing support and supervision throughout their time at Home-Start.

Once we receive a request for help, we carefully match a volunteer with a family.  The volunteer offers tailor-made one-to-one support, regularly – usually for around two hours at a time, on a weekly basis for an average of 6 months.

Close up of baby with mother behind

Our volunteers provide

  • Emotional support to help parents find ways to manage and resolve problems.
  • Direct support for children including playing, listening, having fun, establishing routines, encouraging development and providing opportunities for outings and treats.
  • Practical help with getting to appointments, doing the shopping, budgeting, nutrition and meal planning, cooking and making the home safe.
  • Information and links to health services, educational services and the local offer of support to children and young families such as the Early Childhood and Family Service.

    How to get help for yourself

    Home-Start Norfolk support is completely free, you do not have to pay for any of our support and it is entirely voluntary.

    If you are a parent with at least one child under the age of five, living in the Norfolk, then we may be able to help you. Our support is free, confidential and non-judgemental.

    Families have accessed our service for many different reasons. We have worked with;

    • Lonely or isolated parents
    • Families with multiple births or several pre-school children
    • Families where there is ill health or disability/special needs
    • Families affected by a bereavement or relationship problems
    • Parents who need support with their mental health
    • Families struggling with the emotional and physical demands of having young children
    • Families experiencing difficulties in managing their children’s behaviour
    • Lone parents
    • Parents who need support to prepare their child(ren) to be school ready

    We can offer you support from one of our fully trained home visiting volunteers. All our volunteers are parents, so they know just what you’re going through. Click here to make a self referral, for more information please email

    How to refer a family

    We accept referrals for families struggling to cope with a variety of challenges, such as post-natal illness, disability, isolation, the demands of parenting young children, bereavement and multiple births.

    Home-Start support is not a substitute for professional services but complementary to them, and the best results are achieved through an active partnership between professionals and Home-Start.

    Who can make referrals?

    Anyone can make a referral to Home-Start Norfolk with prior permission from the family.

    Referrals can be made by any agency working with young children such as health visitors, social workers, family support workers, the Early Childhood and Family Service etc.

    Families can also refer themselves for Home-Start support by contacting us by phone, letter or email. Around 25% of all our referrals come directly from families.

    Please note:

    • We do not provide a baby-sitting service
    • We cannot look after children in the absence of their parents
    • We no longer support families who are under S17 or S47
    • Our support is for a period of up to 6 months

    How do I make a referral?

    Families in need of support must have at least one child under the age of five and live in Norfolk.

    A referral should be made with prior consent from the family – they MUST agree and be willing to accept our support.

    Download a referral form and complete it, providing an indication of the family’s needs. Post, scan or email the completed referral form to us. Please note – this form is for professionals only. To self-refer please call or email us.

    Call 01603 977040  or email if you would like to discuss further with one of our team before referring a family.

    Mum and baby

    What happens next?

    Once a referral is accepted, we arrange an initial visit with the family to discuss their needs and tell them about what support is available from Home-Start Norfolk.

    We carefully match the skills and experiences of a volunteer to the needs of a family, who is then taken along to be introduced to the family.

    Volunteers have weekly contact with the family at a mutually convenient time to support with their needs. *Please be aware that due to the current social distancing restrictions, this support is happening through phone, text and video call.

    Referrers are kept fully informed throughout the process of referral, matching and at regular intervals during the period of support by the volunteer.

    Home-Start Norfolk groups

    Baby Massage

    Home-Start Norfolk offers FREE baby massage both online and in small groups across Norfolk.  All of our instructors are IAIM (International Association of Infant Massage) trained and offer excellent guidance and easy to follow instructions.

    Email Claire Keron for more information.

      Baby laying on his belly on a blanket. Parents hand in the image massaging baby's back


      It’s just been me and my daughter during lockdown. We look forward to our weekly wednesday video chat with Molly. She supports my daughter’s home learning which I have struggled to manage with my additional needs


      Home-Start Mum

      My disabled son is now attending nursery, this wouldn’t have happened due to my anxiety. My volunteer helped me address my worries and concerns. I now feel able to leave him in the care of someone else


      Home-Start Mum

      Home-Start has changed my life. I know that sounds like an exageration but I really mean it. Thank you


      Home-Start Mum

      My volunteer helped me find the confidence to join local groups for parents – I have now made some new friends who have continued to be my support network during this lockdown


      Home-Start Mum

      I am very glad to work with Home-Start because its help me to build my confidence back. Especially working with Shannon. I do appreciate for the time and morally support that she gave me


      Home-Start Mum

      My child’s nursery teacher put a Home-Start Norfolk leaflet in my child’s bookbag. I didn’t think anything of it until my sister had a baby and suffered from severe post-natal depression. I was working full time and could not be there for her, so I referred her to Home-Start Norfolk. It was reassuring to know that she had a volunteer who had been trained and would check on her. Thank you Home-Start Norfolk 


      Relative of Home-Start Mum

      Become a Home-Start Volunteer Today

      Home-Start Norfolk’s team of trained volunteers make sure a child’s early years count. By volunteering just a few hours each week you can transform the lives of young children and their parents in your community.


      Find out moreVolunteer enquiry form