Home-Start operates in one place in Sweden – the municipality of Alingsås where it has been for 10 years. From February 2018, Alingsås have chosen to let Bräcke diakoni, a non-governmental organisation be responsible for the scheme. At the time Bräcke diakoni was introduced, there was no ongoing support being given to families as all volunteers had terminated their assignments during 2017.
Alingsås is located in the south west of Sweden. There are 40 000 inhabitants and the population expects to grow due to immigration from other parts of Sweden as well as from abroad.
Bräcke diakoni is an independent foundation providing nonprofit health and social care in Sweden. It was founded in 1923 and today there are over 1 200 employees. There is also a tradition and experience of having volunteers in the organization. Bräcke diakoni runs about forty facilities in the areas of healthcare and care for people with disabilities as well as for the elderly, preschool for children with disabilities, day care centers, homes for the elderly, health clinics and units for rehabilitation etc. Home-Start is now one of our facilities and we are proud to have them as we find Home-Start fits in a natural way with our vision- ‘A more compassionate society.’
Maria Blad (social worker) is the coordinator and is supported by Rakel Lornér (social worker) and Eva Berglund (deacon) with recruiting, training and supervision of volunteers.
In April, two of us had the opportunity to participate in the conference "Volunteers Professionals - Help with Their Life Stories" held in Prague, by Home-Start Czech Republic. Maria presented a session about “Voluntary work in the Swedish Society”. During the conference we learned about voluntary work in general and Home-Start in particular. It was valuable to meet colleagues from other Home-Start countries.
Our task in Home-Start Sweden from February 2018 was to market ourselves with the aim of finding new volunteers. We have completed a website and produced flyers and other written material. Networking with other organizations and receiving invitations to attend their meetings is one way of getting Home-Start known. Our hope is to get in touch with people who would like to become a volunteer. In May 2018 we will start the first training course for volunteers.
Home-Start Sweden gets valuable support, training and supervision from the national coordinator, Home-Start Norway.