Home-Start in Scotland is on a mission to engage a more diverse group of volunteers. Support from the Children and Young People’s Fund to increase male volunteering has fuelled growing ambitions. Since Volunteers Week 2018 Home-Start UK has been highlighting the benefits of volunteering and of increasing volunteer diversity in family support work.


Two MSPs – Iain Gray and Bob Doris – spoke in praise of Home-Start in the Volunteers Week debate in parliament on 5th June 2018. Iain Gray spoke of the powerful testimony offered by HS East Lothian volunteer Elizabeth Butler in the short film made with her to mark Volunteers Week. Bob Doris remarked on the high quality volunteer training and support provided by Home-Start Glasgow North.


This profile-raising support has highlighted the work Home-Start UK in Scotland has been doing to bring more diversity into the voluntary sector. The series showcased a mix of dads, refugees, students, young mothers and grandmothers, all sharing their experience of volunteering.


With many services continuing to make dads feel marginalised and excluded, Home-Start UK is slowly changing the culture that says motherhood is more central to women than fatherhood is to men. This means recruiting more male volunteers, and engaging with more fathers in the communities where Home-Start works.


Andrew moved from being part of a supported family to being a volunteer himself. His testimony emphasises the difference active engagement with local family services has made to his confidence as a dad. The shift towards inclusion is making Home-Start’s service more engaging, more inclusive, and more representative of modern day families in Scotland.


Find the series on social media using #HomeStartStories or go to the Home-Start Website here.

Watch Andrew’s story here: YouTube Video.

Pupil Inclusion Network Scotland (PINS) is funded by the Scottish Government Learning Directorate. They have been running for 14 years and have around 1400 members, largely made up of professionals who work with the most vulnerable and marginalised learners when it comes to formal or informal learning or support for schooling. Many of their members are parents and carers with children in the education system too.

Their focus is on educational inclusion, equalities, attainment, health and wellbeing.

The network mainly operates online, holding occasional events, and their interests range from the early years through to post school learning. Members receive monthly e-updates.

PINS would like to invite parents and carers engaged with NPFS to join them. Membership is free. To learn more  and to join, visit their website by clicking here.

Our Chair, Joanna, met with freelance writer, Sam Phipps to talk about Learning Together, the parental involvement action plan which hopes to better involve families in school life plan and its other priorities for parents and education.

You can read the article here.

Upstart Scotland is a campaign for a play-based kindergarten stage in Scotland for children aged 3-7, supported by thousands of professionals in health, social work, children’s rights, early years, the arts and education. It was started in 2016 because of the enormous change in children’s habits of play over the recent decades, which are clearly linked to physical and mental health problems.

‘The Curriculum for Excellence’s Early Level is terrific,’ says Upstart Chair Sue Palmer, ‘but its play-based pedagogical principles haven’t been implemented in most Scottish primary schools. We’re trying to draw attention to the importance of play.’

You can take a look at Upstart Scotland’s website and the work they do by clicking here.