Home Start in Suffolk Welcomes New Patron

Home-Start in Suffolk is proud to announce that the Suffolk based actress of the stage and screen Miranda Raison will be supporting the organisation in the role of Patron.

Miranda Raison, who has spent much of her life here in Suffolk and now lives here with her husband and young daughter, was introduced to Home-Start in Suffolk by her neighbour and friend Lady Clare Greenwell, a former volunteer and now ambassador for the charity.

Ms Raison, who is well known for her role as Jo Portman in the popular television series Spooks, will soon be back on our screens playing ‘Nellie Davenport’ in the upcoming HBO series ‘Warrior’ – a series set in the Tong Wars of San Francisco in the 1880’s – airing on Sky One throughout the UK later this year.

Especially interested in highlighting the difficulties that young mothers in Suffolk face, particularly at this difficult and uncertain time, Ms Raison has been inspired to support the charity since experiencing motherhood herself.

“I am thrilled and honoured to be involved with Home-Start in Suffolk.” Ms Raison said. “Their work is more important now than it has ever been; bringing support, friendship and most importantly hope to families who may be struggling for one reason or another.

I am incredibly fortunate, as the mother of a toddler, to have friends and family nearby in Suffolk as a source of constant support but there are many who don’t have such a network around them. Home-Start places non-judgemental and compassionate volunteers with families across the county who might need an extra pair of hands, some practical help or even just a friend to talk to.”

Tara Somers, CEO at Home-Start in Suffolk said “We are delighted that Miranda Raison has chosen to support our organisation. Being a young parent herself, she has first-hand experience of the challenges of parenthood. She is highly motivated to support Suffolk families and is particularly keen to ensure that the community know the hard work that our staff team and amazing volunteers do to support families.”

Miranda Raison has recently launched a special story telling YouTube channel where she reads classic stories written by authors such as Beatrix Potter and A.A. Milne for children to listen to during lockdown and beyond! A link to her channel can be found on the Home-Start in Suffolk website within the “Activities for Children” section the organisation created for families during the current COVID-19 crisis.

Home-Start in Suffolk has been supporting Suffolk families for over 20 years and is instrumental in early intervention to prevent families reaching crisis point. Helping families as they navigate through challenges such as bereavement, long-term illness, domestic abuse, isolation, poor mental health, disabilities and so much more, Home-Start in Suffolk work alongside the statutory services and are highly respected amongst their partners and peers. The majority of their family referrals come through professional partners however families are able to self-refer too.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Crisis, Home-Start in Suffolk has adapted their important volunteer support service to adhere to the physical distancing guidance, providing telephone and video call support for struggling families in place of the home-visiting service they are well known for. This is working well and there are plans afoot to add telephone support as an additional service once this crisis is over.

“The current Coronavirus outbreak has seen us having to adapt our services quickly and the positive feedback we have had as a result has been wonderful.” Says Tara, “Our volunteers are at the heart of our organisation and have all been extremely flexible, adapting their support and offering even more support hours where they can. We are so fortunate to have such a fantastic team of volunteers.

“We believe that during this crisis and in-deed once this crisis is over the need for our services will continue to increase and we are therefore actively recruiting new volunteers, providing a new short-term online training course until things return to normal.”

If anyone is interested in joining the Home-Start in Suffolk volunteer team or to find out more about the services they offer, please visit www.homestartinsuffolk.org or call 01473 621104.

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