As part of Volunteers’ Week, which runs from Wednesday 1 June until Sunday 12 June, we are celebrating the 18,500 people who dedicate their time and skills to help families change their lives.

Across the country 15,000 people give their time as home-visiting volunteers, while a team of 2,300 voluntary trustees ensure that Home-Starts have the sustainability and organisation to support their local community.

In March we held our first ever National Volunteer Awards and celebrated the inspiring work done by all of our volunteers. We recognised the contribution of 11 winners in a ceremony hosted by Home-Start vice-president Alastair Stewart OBE and our ambassador, Kirstie Allsopp.

You can read the stories of each of the winners, who were all nominated by colleagues or the families who they had been supporting, here.

To coincide with Volunteers’ Week we have released a study into the benefits of volunteering which shows that it is good for your health, gives you more confidence and is a great way of getting back into work.

Our research in to volunteering in Scotland shows that our volunteers have improved self-confidence, better physical and mental wellbeing, and have higher work related skills.  

The research has led Home-Start’s Director for Scotland, Shelagh Young, to call for more opportunities for people to volunteer.

She said: “Volunteering has such a huge positive impact on those people who give their time, and on the families and organisations they support. But it also has benefits for the organisations they work for, and the community as a whole. Charity, business and society need to work harder together to give people more, and better, opportunities to volunteer their time and skills.”

On social media all through Volunteers’ Week, Home-Start UK will be highlighting some of the benefits of volunteering.

There are so many ways that you can get involved with your local Home-Start as a volunteer.

As well as being one of our famous home-visiting volunteers, you can use your skills to become a trustee and ensure the good running of your local Home-Start, or you could help out at a parent support group.

If your local Home-Start has its own charity shop you can volunteer there, or you can always run a fundraising event for your local Home-Start or for Home-Start UK.

Local Home-Starts are always looking for new volunteers to support the increasing number of struggling families in their area. To find out how you can get involved click here.