Excerpt from the Wirral Globe Thursday 14 July 2016.
The work of a Wirral charity was celebrated during an event at the House of Lords yesterday. Organisers and users of the Foundation Years Trust were invited to London to meet HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, who has been the patron of the charity since 2015, when she visited Birkenhead to see the charity’s work at first hand. The Trust, which has been operating for three years, supports families from the early stages of pregnancy right through until their children start school.
The Trust’s Director, Anna-Louise van der Merwe said: “This is an exciting time for the Trust, as the momentum is gathering nationally for a stronger focus on the benefits of supporting parental engagement, particularly in the early years. The families we work with are an inspiration in their commitment to ensuring that their children have the best start in life.” The event was hosted by Lord Bridges of Headley.
The charity which is chaired by Birkenhead MP Frank Field, has so far worked more than 200 families and 70 pregnant and new mums in Birkenhead. He said: “The early years present the best opportunity to achieve equal life chances for all children and parents are the driving force behind this. “The Trust is developing a strong research and evidence base which we hope will help influence the early year’s sector into a stronger partnership with parents. “This partnership is key to successful outcomes for children, no matter what their income or background.” The event provided the opportunity to recognise the contribution of the families in Birkenhead to furthering the Trust’s work and to thank the Trust’s donors for their generous support. Guests at the reception included MPs, Peers, early year’s professionals, academics and donors, all of whom were extremely interested to hear more from the parents and how they have been involved with the trust's work.
HRH the Duchess of Cornwall spent a lot of time chatting to the group about their experiences and their perspective on their children’s development. Five new mums who regularly use the trust, were invited to the event, one of them, Nicky Joyce said: “Everyone wanted to talk to us and hear what we had to say. People listened to us and took on board what we told them. “It was like we were the most important people in the room”.