MP praises local Home-Start charity

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert attended a reception for Home-Start Arun hosted by the charity’s patron The Duchess of Norfolk at Arundel Castle last Friday (21 October).

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Home Start is dedicated to providing support and friendship to families in the local community, to ensure that young children get the best possible start in life.  They recruit and train volunteer parents who can provide practical and emotional support to other parents who are struggling to cope. 

The families they support face issues such as mental health, multiple births, financial hardship and domestic abuse.   The charity helps parents in need to grow in confidence and to develop and strengthen their relationships with their children and local community.  

Home-Start Arun is the local link to the national charity operating in the Arun District area.  In the last year alone, local volunteers have supported 134 families and their 286 children.  More than 3,000 children have been supported since the charity was set up in 1999.  

At the reception, personal stories were shared from not only the staff and volunteers at the charity but also from people who had received help from it.  Mr Herbert described the brave personal testimonies from young parents as “very moving”. 

The aim of the evening was to broaden the local support base to create a network of people who are committed to the long-term sustainability of the charity.  Guests were invited to commit to help in whatever way they could, whether by volunteering, fundraising, communicating or donating.  

Mr Herbert said: “The Duchess of Norfolk is a marvellous supporter of a number of charities, both local and national, and I hope that the reception which she held for Home-Start Arun will help to boost what is obviously a very good cause. 

“I was impressed by Home-Start and hope that as many people as possible will join their network.” 




   1.     Photograph – Nick Herbert and The Duchess of Norfolk with staff, volunteers and supporters of Home-Start Arun.

   2.     For more information about Home Start see

   3.     Those who are interested in supporting should contact them by e-mail at or through their website at or by calling 01903 889707.

   4.    The range of difficulties that Home Start families faced in 2015/16 included; 73 families struggling with mental health difficulties, 12 families with at least one member who is disabled, 11 families who have faced domestic abuse as an issue, 25 families who have English as their second language, 39 families who are lone parents, and 32 families who have needed help due to debt and financial problems.

Michelle TaylorArundel, Charity