Welcome to Home-Start South East Dorset. Offering friendship and support to local families. Home-Start is now the UK's leading family support charity offering friendship and informal support to parents with young children, in local communities throughout the UK, so that every child can have a good start in life

The scheme was set up in 1995 following two years of research and convincing would-be funders of its benefit to the local community. The scheme started in June 1995 on a part time basis, from a very small office, which contained nothing more than a telephone, and held its first Preparation Course for volunteers in September of that year with 8 volunteers.

March 1998 brought the good news that Home-Start had been successful in its National Lottery bid to secure funding to purchase, refurbish and equip its own premises to provide a multi functioning base to recruit, train and support volunteers as well as providing much needed office space in addition to continuing its Family Group work.  During 2005 Home-Start was delighted to have secured funding to expand its service into Christchurch and East Dorset.

Now with its 5 members of paid staff and full complement of management board members, Home-Start is moving forward with a new five year business plan to incorporate a steady expansion and growth during that time.


Volunteers are people who have practical experience of the up and downs of family life, regardless of age, social background, education and experiences, and Home-Start welcomes all enquiries and informal chat from people thinking about becoming a volunteer.

Home-Start offers Preparation Courses for new volunteers. The courses run over 4 weeks, 2 sessions a week from 9.30am-2.30pm. Volunteers are asked to commit 2-4 hours per week to help support a family who will have at least one child under five years living within the family home.

Support is offered on a weekly basis in the family's own home with clear aims and objectives to help provide the right support for that particular family.

Anyone can volunteer, as long as they are a parent or grandparent or have parenting experience, thus understanding the stresses and strains involved in raising a family.