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Volunteering has been at the heart of Family Action since we were established in 1869, run solely by volunteers. Using the expertise of a wide range of volunteers from a variety of different backgrounds and sectors allows our work supporting children, young people and families to be more effective and resourceful.  This also provides individuals and organisations the opportunity to take part in a fulfilling experience making a real impact in the lives of the people we support.

Volunteers work in a variety of roles ranging from volunteering in our services, such as our perinatal befrienders, to positions on our board of trustees. We also have opportunities for social work students looking to gain experience as well as opportunities for companies to get involved.

We place a huge value on our volunteers and the contribution they make to our organisation and the children, young people and families we support. We ensure that all of our volunteers are DBS checked and receive the training and support they need to volunteer safely.

Take a look at our main volunteer roles below or other opportunities here. Alternatively contact your local Family Action office and ask to speak to the Project Manager to find out how you can get involved.


Clare's story - a Family Action Perinatal volunteer

The question is….

Why am I perinatal volunteer?


And the answer to that is because I’ve experienced some of the ups and downs that our mums and dads are experiencing in our community today.

Here is a quick story about me….

I am 43 years old and married with two children aged 12 and 6.

I worked in the health authority for 20 years. On the front line, on hospital wards caring for people with various illnesses and injuries and I always took great pride in my work and for most the time, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

About 14 years ago I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which goes hand in hand with difficulty to conceive and depression.

After a few years of treatment and IVF I gave birth to a beautiful son, and then six years later after a miscarriage and more treatment on the NHS I gave birth to my second beautiful son.

During my pregnancies, I was extremely poorly. My husband worked away during the week and I had very little support from family, so looking back it wasn’t the best time for me but I was still very excited and positive about becoming a mum.

Neither labour was great and I had to be induced a month early with both boys.

Being a mum is great most of the time but as soon as your child is born, there are many obstacles and fences to jump.

Three years ago my family and I became financially secure, so I left the NHS to look after my sons Now both boys are in full time school and I feel I’m wanting to give my time and help women out in the community who are struggling with post-natal depression, or who just need a little help and compassion to care for them and their babies.

I am very passionate about being a perinatal volunteer and I’m very thankful for being given the opportunity to get involved with this scheme: it really is needed out there.

Ok, every single day to new mums and dads can be a challenge.

I have worked since leaving school, I love to work hard but when I look back physically and mentally the hardest job is being a parent. So I’m very passionate about my role as a perinatal volunteer, giving my knowledge, experience, understanding and most of all my time to those wonderful mums, dads and families who are struggling.

Remember the song ‘children are our future’? Well they certainly are. So for those mums and dads and families who are struggling we need to be there for them. To support them, listen to them and most of all…care for them. THAT IS WHY I TRULY BELIEVE IN THE ROLE OF THE PERINATAL BEFRIENDER.