Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP visits Home-Start Kernow to meet parents, babies and toddlers during a visit to promote family hubs.

British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, holds a baby from a family supported by Home-Start KernowHome-Start was delighted to host the UK Prime Minister today at a stay-and-play service for families and young children at the St Austell Family Hub.

Sunak was in Cornwall celebrating a progress report on Start for Life and Family Hubs, the government’s flagship programme of £300m investment in the early years.

Sunak was joined by his wife, Akshata Murty, and Dame Andrea Leadsom – the driving force behind Start for Life and a huge advocate of Home-Start’s work. They met parents, staff and volunteers who spoke to them about their experiences and the support they had received from Home-Start.

Jo Scrimgeour, Chief Executive, Home-Start Kernow said, “We were excited to be able to show Mr Sunak the vital work being done in our Home-Start Kernow groups across Cornwall. For the parents we support it is so important to feel that their voice is being heard and to share some of the very real challenges facing them as they bring up their babies in Cornwall.”

British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak poses with a Home-Start Kernow  volunteer

Home-Start Volunteer, Gemma Commons, who runs the group session that the Prime Minister attended said, “Today was a wonderful experience. The Prime Minister and his wife sat on the floor with us and joined in our play session with the babies. He commented on how inspiring our Home-Start is and that he wants to see similar hubs rolled out over the country.”

One of the parents who met Sunak to share her experiences said, “The Prime Minister spoke to us as a parent and he shared his own experiences. I was grateful to be able to tell him and his wife how Home-Start has helped me as I became a parent. We attend every week and my daughter gets to be with other children, which is so important”

Another parent at the event said, “It’s been a wonderful day. My one-year-old son ran up to the Prime Minister and called him gorgeous, which is his new favourite word he has recently learnt. The group has been a lifeline for me and I’m very grateful for the support Home-Start has provided”

Commenting on the visit, Peter Grigg, CEO Home-Start UK said, “It’s fantastic that the Prime Minister enjoyed first-hand how Home-Start Kernow makes such a difference across Cornwall. It is so powerful to hear directly from families and helps bring to life how volunteers help parents feel more confident and less isolated and how this leads to children having even stronger starts in life.”

“At Home-Start, we welcome the investment being made in the Start for Life programme and are supporting many of the flagship family hub areas. Yet, with so much pressure from the cost of living crisis, national and local governments also need to do more to invest in charities and local communities – so that organisations like Home-Start can continue to be there to contribute to such important initiatives for families.”

Home-Start Kernow offers free, confidential support, friendship and practical help to parents of children under five in the county of Cornwall who are going through a difficult time.

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