Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge will make a visit to Brookhill Children’s Centre in Woolwich to learn more about Home-Start and its support for children and families on Wednesday 18 March.

As well as learning about Home-Start’s work at the children’s centre, The Duchess of Cambridge will hear about the charity’s volunteer-led support of families in their own homes.

The Duchess will be introduced to the Mayor and Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich before attending a briefing with Home-Start UK’s chief executive, Rob Parkinson and the centre’s manager, Dawn Brown. Rob and Dawn will tell Her Royal Highness about the work the charity does to support families to cope, improve confidence and build better lives for their children.

Her Royal Highness will then attend a coffee morning where she will meet families who have been supported by Home-Start and listen to their experiences. The Duchess will view a volunteer training session in which volunteers are taught how best to offer practical and emotional support in a family’s home to help children make the most of nursery or school. Finally HRH will visit the onsite Together for Twos’ crèche to meet families and staff.

Rob Parkinson, chief executive of Home-Start UK said, “We are delighted that The Duchess wants to hear about the challenges that parents of other young children can face and learn how Home-Start is helping them. Without support, the pressures caused by isolation, mental ill health, multiple births, bereavement, disability, poor housing or financial stress can have a devastating effect on families. What The Duchess sees in Greenwich represents the incredible work that is done by hundreds of local Home-Starts up and down the country. Home-Start’s work with The Royal Borough of Greenwich at four of its 24 Children’s Centres is a wonderful example of how Home-Start links families into their local communities across the UK.”

Brookhill Children’s Centre works with around 1,000 families from the immediate area, 80% of the families with children aged under-five.

Cllr Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said, "We are delighted that Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, has chosen to visit Brookhill Children’s Centre to see how it is improving the lives of local families.

"Children's centres in the Royal Borough of Greenwich play an important role in raising outcomes for children and reducing the inequalities gap.

“Maintaining our network of children’s centres is key to our commitment to ensuring the best possible start in life for all our children. We are pleased to have commissioned Home-Start to run four of our centres, and know that they share our commitment to providing good quality services for local families."

The Children’s Centre is one of 24 in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. They provide universal services to families with children under five, with some services targeted at the most disadvantaged and vulnerable families, in order to improve outcomes for children and to reduce the inequalities gap.

Home-Start Greenwich has been running since 1993 and last year supported 200 families and 350 children. It is the first local Home-Start to manage children’s centres, as well as provide home-based support for families.

Home-Start has a network of over 16,000 volunteers in 288 communities across the UK, as well as in British Forces bases in Germany and Cyprus. Volunteers provide free, non-judgemental support and mentoring to over 32,000 families who are struggling to cope in a variety of situations including isolation, mental ill health, bereavement, multiple births, illness or disability.