Home-Start Ceredigion team celebrate their 30th anniversary

If Home-Start can support – we will!

Published: 05/12/22 | Categories: Volunteering, Author: Avril Gartland

Avril Gartland, Volunteering Officer for Home-Start Ceredigion, talks about the organisation’s recent success in achieving the Investing in Volunteers standard.

Launched in 1992, Home-Start Ceredigion is a charity which supports vulnerable families through Ceredigion.

We support families who have children under the age of 11 living in the home. These families are supported by home-visiting volunteers, pre-school groups, school ready pre-school sessions, debt support, domestic abuse support, mental health support, bereavement support, court support, a food bank, a clothes bank – the list is endless!

At present Home-Start Ceredigion employ six members of staff, have 14 active volunteers, and support many families in the local area. Our staff have been training volunteers to support families in the home or in a group setting. There are six groups held throughout the county for families, led by a member of staff and supported by a volunteer.


Receiving the Investing in Volunteers award has been a great achievement for me personally and Home-Start, knowing that Home-Start volunteers are looked after in a professional and friendly way. Without Home-Start volunteers the charity would not be able to run, let alone be successful. The process has allowed us to refocus on what the volunteers need or want, and to make sure they are valued.

Home-Start Ceredigion began the Investing in Volunteers process in April 2021. The process helped with funding bids and contributed to making all our volunteers feel included within the charity post COVID.

The process began with a meeting with our assessor and an introductory workshop. At that point the team thought this was an impossible task, but with a methodical approach the process was a big success!


We received support from Trish Lewis from CAVO, our local County Voluntary Council. I felt the process was a lot more accessible, after Trish and I went through the standard again step by step, so I started adapting the process for volunteers and revamping paperwork.

Our Investing in Volunteers assessor was changed – which I was a little anxious about, but Sue (The new assessor) was absolutely lovely. She reassured me and set dates for things to be completed and the assessment to take place. I had a few meetings with Sue who put me at ease and made the process run a lot more smoothly.

A timetable was set out to interview the volunteers, trustees and staff and the last lot of information was tweaked to allow the assessments to take place at the start of September.

All the Home-Start volunteers took part in the Investing in Volunteers process, with only one not attending the interviews due to illness. All the volunteers gave input for the award and were informed once the award had been passed. Here are a few of their responses:

‘Cool! That’s great! Well Done for all your hard work too!’

‘That’s excellent news well done everyone’

‘Well done! So pleased’

‘Well done, Home-Start definitely deserves it xxx’

The information gathered is now used daily to ensure Home-Start volunteers can access inclusive and supportive volunteering opportunities.


In April 2022, Home-Start Ceredigion received five years of Lottery funding which will help the charity continue in Ceredigion supporting vulnerable families with the help and support of their volunteers – our heroes.

Home-Start Ceredigion will complete a quality assurance process with Home-Start UK in January 2023. The Investing in Volunteers award will help the quality assurance process as a lot of the information required has already been put in place.


If you’d like to volunteer for Home-Start Ceredigion please contact Avril on 07970847443 or the Office on 01570 218546, or message us on Facebook:

Find out more about Investing in Volunteers.