In a speech at an event for local Home-Starts, Rob Parkinson set out why he believes early intervention and family support is so important, and why the work of local Home-Starts across the country is so crucial.

“Right at the heart of Home-Start is this central idea of communities coming together to support families who are struggling in those communities,” Rob told representatives of local Home-Starts. “It was the heart of Home-Start’s message in 1973, and it should be the heart of our message in the future as well”

Remembering the situation faced by adults he worked with and supported in previous charities, Rob told the audience that he was left with the feeling that if the families of these people had received support decades earlier, it might have prevented some of the problems they faced as adults.

It was this that convinced Rob of the importance of early intervention, and it was coming across a Home-Start volunteer who showed him the incredible difference that can be made by the unique relationship between a volunteer and a family.

As well as speaking about the impact local Home-Starts are having in their communities, Rob discussed some of the challenges facing charities in the UK today, and how organisations can make sure they continue to make a life changing difference to the people they support.

Rob focuses on the importance of making sure charities are sustainable and can carry on providing support for the people who need it. “The holy grail at the end of it,” he adds, “is that more than 35,000 people receive the help of Home-Start and that there will be far fewer of the kind of people who I met at my local hospital, and who I read about in my local newspaper who have to go through awful things after it has all gone wrong in their lives.”

The speech was one of several that Rob made to local Home-Starts at events across the country over the past year. “It was a pleasure to meet with so many dedicated Home-Start colleagues at events over the past year,” Rob said later. “At each event I spoke about many issues, but I wanted to set out why I joined Home-Start and why I think that early year’s intervention and volunteer-led support is so important for thousands of families across the UK.”

You can watch Rob’s speech by clicking here.