Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) have praised the work of Home-Start in a special debate to recognise the work being done in 32 communities, right across the country.

The debate, which had to be extended because of the number of MSPs wanting to contribute, was proposed by Bob Doris, MSP for Glasgow.

MSPs from across the chamber commended the work being done by their local Home-Start, and recognised the role of volunteers and the difference they make to families.

It was also encouraging to hear MSPs recognise that it is the voluntary and non-judgemental nature of our work, and that Home-Starts provide a local solution to helping families in the communities, which makes our work unique.

Finally, several MSPs praised Home-Start’s first ever policy manifesto, All Our Children, and encouraged their colleagues and the Scottish government to make sure that children are at the heart of the decisions they make.

Rob Parkinson, chief executive of Home-Start UK said, “Thank you to every member of parliament who took part in the debate and took the opportunity to highlight the fantastic work that is being done by the Home-Starts in their constituencies. Thank you also to Bob Doris for securing the debate, and giving MSPs this opportunity. It was a very proud moment for all of us, and shows that there is a real desire to make sure that volunteer-led family support and early intervention is at the heart of policy in Scotland.”

“We will now be looking to work with MSPs to make sure this commitment is matched at a local level and that in every constituency in Scotland, families who need it have access to volunteer-led family support so that all children in Scotland have the best possible start in life.” 

Contributing to the debate were: Johann Lamont (Glasgow Pollok), Patricia Ferguson (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn), James Dornan (Glasgow Cathcart), Liz Smith (Mid Scotland and Fife), Cara Hilton (Dunfermline), Graeme Dey (Angus South), Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands), Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh Northern and Leith), Alex Fergusson (Galloway and West Dumfries), Jayne Baxter (Mid Scotland and Fife).

The debate was closed by a response from the government from The Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, Dr Alasdair Allan.