Best Start Project

Best start is a new and exciting way to support children and families through a variety of home visits, helping out or running groups, and supporting local Childrens Centres and community activities.

We are working in parnership with local organisations, ZEST, MCDT, SOAR and the peri-natal support group Light Sheffield to bring together people and ideas across the city.  This partnership enables us to provide local people with local support while offering citywide learning and expertise for volunteers and communities.  We are currently recruiting volunteers for this project.

There are several roles and opportunities including:

  • Visiting families on a one to basis in their own homes to offer friendship and reassurance
  • supporting regular Children’s Centre drop ins
  • get creative making fun and interactive displays and information

You will need 2-3 hours per week and energy and enthusiasm for families.

You will receive:

  • Accredited and highly regarded Foundation training
  • All out of pocket expenses (including up to £25 per day for child care during training)
  • Ongoing support
  • Varied training and development opportunities
  • Friendship and support through your journey of volunteering!


‘Our mission is to provide a health & wellbeing hub delivering responsive services to tackle local inequalities and multiple deprivation and to foster communities where everyone feels welcomed, valued and can fully participate.  To achieve this, we deliver a wide range of services – employment support, leisure & recreation, health, and children’s/young people activities.  We work on a whole household approach, recognising that families and individuals have complex issues that may not be addressed by one service”

Light Sheffield:

Light is a charity working to support the emotional wellbeing and mental health of mums and their families in Sheffield and beyond, during pregnancy, birth and afterwards.


Manor and Castle Development Trust (MCDT) was a community response to the challenges faced by the neighbourhoods. MCDT was established in September 1997 to manage the delivery of SRB Challenge Fund Round 3 in the Manor and Castle area. SRB 3 involved £16.7 million over 7 years which levered in additional public and private sector investment of over £200m.

The Trust’s holistic and community led approach to community regeneration was so successful the Trust became an accountable body for 7 streams of public money and was asked to manage the SRB 2 scheme. The Trust has managed a successful Neighbourhood Wardens scheme, and is still managing a Sure Start programme and a Healthy Living Network which received a £1m award from the Lottery.

Uniquely the Trust has taken an enabling role towards regeneration and has supported other organisations to deliver activity. The Trust doesn’t take credit for everything that has changed in the Manor area but it has played a role in that process at all levels – through access to funding, supporting the management of projects to directly delivering both capital and revenue projects. The Trust was also involved in a joint venture with Sheffield Wildlife Trust to set up the Green Estates.

The four key drivers for the development of the Trust were:

·         To reach the parts that other organisations could not reach through first rung engagement activity.

·         To be a catalyst for change in the community.

·         To develop and hold assets on behalf of the local community.

·         To act as the ‘custodian’ of the vision for the area.

The Trust was (and is) a community led organisation and this has shaped the vision, values, the principles and the practice.