Project information and referral form

Here you will find a list of current projects delivered by Home-Start Colchester, and underneath each description you will find the referral forms.

Home-Start Plus

 Aimed to support families with at least one child under 11 funded By Big Lottery – Across Colchester and Tendring


Health-StartM f(1) b_dad_son_building_blocks_jpgIf you are a Mum, Dad or Carer with a child under 11 living in Colchester or Tendring and are finding things tough at the moment, you can ask for  support. Home-based visiting is essential to the Home-Start approach, which relies on a more holistic, flexible, non-judgmental and caring approach. The families supported, like the Home-Start volunteers, come from a wide range of educational, cultural and financial backgrounds.

The co-ordinator will visit you at home and together with you, create a tailored plan of support. If a volunteer is matched to support you then they will visit regularly (usually once a week for a couple of hours) and offer friendly support, providing both emotional and practical assistance to help  you to make the changes you have identified that you want to happen. They can give you reassurance that you are not alone, as well as a listening ear and valuable support. You might need an extra pair of hands to help you cope with everyday situations or even practical help with activities like playing or story time. Duration is normally between 3 – 6 months support.

“Knowing she would be visiting got me through those early weeks. She helped me forget about all my worries and anxieties for a while, which meant I could put them in perspective.”


Early Help Services – FIF

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  • Life Coaching – parents and  young people 14+
  • Mentoring – young people 8+
  • Mentoring – parents

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Coaching and Mentoring

This Early Intervention Service reaches out to parents and young people when the early signs of emotional and physical distress appear.


Mentoring parents - Adult trained mentors provide a regular and frequent contact with parents or young people, and may be matched based on a mutual interest in a particular activity to support the individual to achieve their goals. Mentors can support peer parenting, home management or could assist a person to achieve goals such as how to plan, organise or attend local activities.

Mentoring young people - Adult trained mentors with a variety of skills and experience are supported to match to young people to offer the assistance of a dedicated person. It could be to offer a listening ear, friendship or share experiences to enable a young person to upskill or make a vital change in their life.

Those being mentored find they need the dedicated support of another person to help them navigate their way through life and difficult circumstances.

Life Coaching Service – Can help families develop, learn new skills, find personal success, achieve aims and to manage life changes and personal challenges. Coaching can address attitudes , behaviours and knowledge, as well as skills. It provides young people 14+ and parent with the opportunity to reflect, think about their options, progress and succeed.

Groups – Can offer both mentoring and coaching and can be designed to meet the needs of the parent or young person. Sessions are designed to reduce isolation, provide a platform to develop social skills, experience peer support and build new skills.

The service will begin with a key worker visiting you at home, explaining the project and working with the parent or young person to design a bespoke offer of Early Help, which could include one-to-one mentoring for children and young people 8+, and/or peer group mentoring. Coaching sessions are for a parent or family member aged 14+.

The FIF Coaching and Mentoring service will support families across North East Essex quadrant Tendring and Colchester.

  • Home-Start Colchester
  • Inclusion Ventures
  • Life Coach – Leonara Brooker

We can support children, young people and parents with the following needs:

  • Negative behaviour that impacts the dynamic of a family.
  • Risky behaviours that lead to poor physical and emotional outcomes.
  • Aggressive behaviour that leads to violence.
  • The breakdown of parental or family relationships.
  • Social isolation.

The only restriction to accessing these services is that the person being referred is not already in receipt of other additional or specialist need support services

Referral form download here.

RequestforEarlyHelpNORTH  (referral form)

Coaching and Mentoring Young PeoplePDF2 Leaflet

I Can Do It - a child-targeted project


Who can we support?

Age: 5-11 Years
Location: Colchester and Tendring District
The primary beneficiaries of this project will be primary school children with needs level 2 Additional and 3 Intensive.
The project aims to support children who may have limited opportunities to take part in community activities. Children who may feel isolated; have a children in need plan; low family income; a young carer; a child with low confidence. The project aims to enable children to build self-esteem, confidence and life skills, reducing isolation and raising aspirations.

Aims of the project:

  • Reduce isolation.
  • Build new skills in planning, budgeting, building pathways to achieve goals.
  • Improve relationships with family, peers, parents and others in the community.
  • Develop resilience and encourage aspirations.
  • Improve personal achievements.

How long will the project offer support?
Support is offered between 6 months – 12 months depending on need.
Who can make a referral?
We accept referrals from: self; health (GP, health visitor etc); school; social care; and all local partners.

How will the project be co-ordinated?
A Project Leader will visit the family home and tell you about the project. They will spend time with each child over a period of time getting to know them, building trust and understanding, and planning the bespoke mentoring journey. The Project Leader will remain the key contact.

Multi-component mentoring service
Community activities
Each child supported by the project will be provided with Children’s University Activity Passports and funded to achieve accredited Children’s University Community activities. Each child will be supported to achieve the Bronze award and attend the Children’s University Graduation Awards Ceremony.

Peer workshops
Each referred child will be invited to plan and join our fully funded innovative workshops during the school holidays, providing the opportunity for each child to make new friends, share peer support and gain new skills. Mentors support the workshop and provide positive role modelling.
At each workshop lunch is made by the children themselves.

One-to-one mentoring

When required we can offer a trained mentor to offer support starting a home. This support is aimed to boost mentees’ confidence, self-efficiency; resilience; provide a listening ear and friendship. Mentors also support children to manage boundaries and build social relationships. They support children to plan activities and set goals, all of which leads to increased confidence, improved life skills and character building. A mentor can also offer practical assistance to help children access their chosen activities.


Mentors come from a variety of backgrounds and have been through a safer recruitment and training process. All mentors are DBS cleared, supported and supervised by a skilled Project Co-ordinator.


Together   British Legion

The Together Project exclusively supports military and ex-military families with at least one child under 11 years living in the Colchester Borough.

Home visits and group support

The project provides both home visiting and group support. The project will be holistic, tailored to each family’s individual needs, providing non-judgmental peer mentoring support.

If you are a military or ex military Mum, Dad or Carer with a child under 11 living in Colchester, and are finding things tough at the moment, you can ask for free help. As a parent you might ask for Home-Start’s help for a number of reasons:

  • Feeling isolated and feeling you and your child would benefit with support to help you connect to local services.
  • Struggling to engage with your child due to ill health, low mood, or medical treatment, we can offer play support.
  • First-time parenthood or new babies, we can support you to attend parenting groups or offer home support.
  • Postnatal depression.
  • Struggling to manage a home, the assistance of another person may help you to be better organised.
  • Children’s behavioral problems.
  • Disabled parents.
  • Children with disabilities.
  • Relationship difficulties.
  • You may have moved into the area with the military and need a little support to familiarise yourself with the area.
  • You may be finding it hard to cope because of your own or your child’s illness.
  • You may have been hit hard by the death of a loved one.
  • You may be really struggling with emotional and physical demands of having twins or triplets – perhaps born into an already large family.
  • You may want to join a group to enable your child to play with other children.
  • You may need support to attend counselling - we may be able to go with you and watch over a child during the appointment.
  • You may wish to gain new skills such as cooking skills in the home  or in a group to build confidence.
  • You may need support to resettle into the borough and support to gain knowledge on what organisations can help you.
  • You may just need the assistance of another person who cares, and can just be there to listen.
  • You could need practical support if a family member is ill or receiving treatment.

Whatever your or your child’s needs we will support you by offering the assistance of another person. Providing information, opportunities to build new skills; information; a listening ear; another set of hands; or just being there to help at difficult times.

We are also looking for volunteers from the military community - we can support you to build new skills and train you to support other families in the local community.

Leaflet Together project.

Referral Form – Together

Complaints Procedure

Home-Start Colchester aims to offer services of a high standard of quality, if however you feel that we are not delivering this then please refer to our complaints procedure.