Home-Start UK is pleased to announce the appointment of John Downie, Director of Public Affairs at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, as a trustee of Home-Start UK. His appointment enables him to take the Chair of Home-Start’s Scotland Committee of which he has been a member since 2017.

John’s appointment comes at a time when the federated charity finds demand for its well-respected local family support services is increasing while its network of mainly small independent Home-Start charities is having to work harder than ever to fundraise.

Felicity Clarkson, Chair of Trustees, Home-Start UK says:
“John will bring a valuable perspective to the Home-Start UK board given the very different policy context north of the border. His role on the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel combined with his previous Board experience and his strong understanding of Scotland’s Third Sector gained through working with SCVO made him an outstanding candidate. I am very much looking forward to working with him.”

John Downie, said:
“I am delighted to be joining the Board of Home-Start UK and chairing the Scotland Committee. The role of Home-Start in supporting families is incredibly important and I have been hugely impressed by the work of the network in Scotland. I am looking forward to working with them to achieve their ambitions to do much more to help meet the increasing demand for support and services they offer.”

Home-Starts across Scotland are changing as they build on their traditional volunteer-led home-visiting support programme in response to the needs of families. This includes distance outreach to island communities, a focus on peri-natal mental health and Big Hopes, Big Future, supported by the STV Children’s Appeal, a programme designed to boost attainment in school through helping parents and carers better address the social, emotional and behavioural development needs of their children.

Shelagh Young, Home-Start UK’s Scotland Director says:
“We welcome John’s appointment. Strong leadership backed by a clear understanding of the political and policy context in Scotland is more important than ever as local authorities, which have been investing in our services since 1984, tell us they face even tougher funding choices next year. Our national committee, which includes staff and volunteers, is already a great source of support for Home-Start’s work in Scotland. John’s appointment as Chair is going to help us move forward faster in a range of areas including in forging new partnerships to grow our work in response to the needs of children and families.”