Councillor Robin Parker

Councillor Robin Parker CC

A Stevenage voluntary organisation that supports families has received a grant of £1,000 from a local county councillor to help it extend its services to parents who have health difficulties.

Robin Parker (Chells) has allocated the funding to Home-Start in Stevenage from his locality budget.

A total of £10,000 is available to each of the 77 members of Hertfordshire County Council to spend on worthwhile community projects in their area.

Home-Start is a voluntary organisation that provides support for families through individual and group sessions. Trained volunteers support families in the community who have at least one child under the age of five and are experiencing difficulties such as postnatal depression, disability or isolation.

The funding will contribute towards a fortnightly support group for parents who have a health difficulty such as varying forms of ME, impaired sight or other changes in their health that may have had an impact on life as a parent. The grant will also go towards transport costs for families who want to attend sessions, but otherwise would not be able to access local groups.

Cllr Parker said:

Feelings of isolation can all too often be the lot of parents who are having health difficulties, but thanks to the Home-Start groups they can now meet new people, develop a network of friends with whom they can share experiences and talk through their problems and anxieties.

The groups also benefit the children involved, who will have the chance to get out and about more and play with other children.

It’s a wonderful support service all round and I am delighted to be able to help out through my locality budget.

Locality budgets were launched in July 2009, with funding to be used for worthy social, economic or environmental causes in Hertfordshire. For information on how to apply for funding under the scheme, visit and type ‘locality