Project information

Starting Right

Starting Right focuses on supporting parents to give their children the best possible start in life through encouragement and mentoring support which is provided by trained parent mentors. Mentors offer one-to-one support to vulnerable parents in the family home.

January 2018 - January 2019

Charity information: Home-Start Norfolk

Home-Start Norfolk logo
  • Need


    If parents face disadvantage they can struggle to give their young children the best start in life. Overwhelming evidence suggests that the first two years of a child's life can have a major impact on their future wellbeing and life chances. Supporting parents in the early years of their children's lives can make all the difference to the future health and happiness of young children as they become young adults.


    Offering one-to-one support enables and empowers parents to feel more confident and more proactive in supporting their children, particularly if parents are affected by mental or physical health problems, feel isolated or anxious.
    We train volunteer mentors, who are all parents themselves, to provide peer support in a gentle and encouraging way, which helps parents to feel more confident in their parenting abilities and able to access support from their community when they need it.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To give children the best possible start in life by supporting and empowering parents.


    » Recruit and train 12 new volunteers to support vulnerable families
    » Provide weekly support to around 24 families, each family receiving up to 6 months' support

    Families are assessed against 14 possible needs such as feeling isolated, mental and physical health, and these are periodically reviewed throughout the support period.

  • Impact


    Enabling parents to receive support for their mental and physical health and wellbeing will enable them to cope better with the challenges of parenthood. This will enable children to make the best possible start in life, which will help them to enjoy successful and happy outcomes in later life.
    By measuring families progress against the needs they identified at the start of support, we can map the journey of improvement families and children achieve during their period of support.


    The project may be at risk if we are unable to recruit sufficient volunteers for the project.
    We intend to promote the project widely in order to recruit sufficient volunteers.


    Donors will receive a quarterly report on the progress of the project including targets for number of volunteers trained, number of families supported, % of families meeting their identified needs.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £9,350

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      Amount Heading Description
      £2,580 Training 7 session volunteer training sessions for 12 volunteers
      £300 Publicity Recruitment publicity for volunteer training
      £3,250 Staff costs Staff costs of family support workers delivering training and managing family and volunteer caseload
      £2,100 Volunteer expenses For training and family visits
      £520 Admin support Project administration
      £600 Staff travel Cost of visits to families for regular review
  • Background


    The project will focus on areas of Norfolk with a high level of need such as Great Yarmouth and Norwich.
    Nelson ward in Great Yarmouth ranks the most deprived ward in the county. In Norwich 31% of children are living below the poverty line (Source: Norfolk Community Foundation, Vital Signs 2016).


    The project will benefit around 24 families who have young children under the age of three years. Parents will be improve their ability to cope with their emotional and physical wellbeing, feel more confident and less isolated as a result of the project.
    Children will improve their social, communication and behavioural skills.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have 30 years experience of working with challenging families and a good understanding of the best ways to address their individual needs. We have a well qualified and experienced staff team with extensive expertise in volunteer recruitment and training and managing a caseload of families with a range of difficulties. We have an excellent reputation with professional services whose work we complement to other the best support to families.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Julie Southgate

    Julie is one of our experienced coordinators, working directly with families to provide them with the best support and advice to address their needs.


Will pay for a first aid session for a volunteer

"My volunteer supported me with my MS and a new baby. I just didn't know how I was going to cope after the birth. My volunteer made the world of difference in those early months when I was physically exhausted and feeling low. Her regular visits helped me through those difficult times"

Sally, Home-Start Mum