Leicester-born charity to mark 40 years of success

Posted by er134 at Oct 21, 2013 10:20 AM |
Home-Start lecture to be given by Professor Lord Layard at University of Leicester on Wednesday 30 October

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 21 October 2013

One of the UK’s leading family support charities is to mark its 40th anniversary with a public lecture at the University of Leicester.

Professor Lord Layard FBA, British Labour economist and Emeritus Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, will deliver a free public lecture at the University on Wednesday 30 October, starting at 5:30pm.

The lecture is organised in partnership with Home-Start, a charity founded in Leicester that provides practical and emotional support to families in need. Home-Start began in 1973, and the lecture coincides with its 40th birthday.

Since 2000, Professor Lord Layard has been a member of the House of Lords. He is a keen advocate of making the subjective well-being of the people the central objective of governments. He frequently talks about the benefits of volunteering to an individual’s happiness and their economic and social contributions.

He also talks about the importance of using positive parenting techniques and asking for help when people are struggling with issues such as isolation, illness and disability, economic hardship, drug and alcohol abuse and mental ill health.

His influential book Happiness – Lessons from a New Science was published in 2005 and has sold 150,000 copies in 20 languages. With Geoff Mulgan and Anthony Seldon, he recently launched a mass movement to create a happier society called Action for Happiness, which has a natural synergy with Home-Start’s objectives.

Home-Start’s findings suggest that a powerful factor in determining adult life satisfaction is the emotional health as a child. The emotional health of the mother is the most influential in determining the emotional health of the child.

Home-Start’s Chairman James Sainsbury OBE and Elizabeth Young, director of research, evaluation and policy met with Lord Layard earlier this year, to discuss Home-Start's contribution to well-being and happiness over the past forty years.

Founder and Life President of Home-Start Margaret Harrison CBE said: “I’m heartened by the fact that a world-leading economist such as Professor Layard is showing that the happiness of children and families is crucially linked to their economic success and the success of the nation.

“As the Professor says in the 2013 World Happiness report, ‘Individuals’ self-identity and capacity to flourish are deeply influenced by their social surroundings, including the opportunity to form relationships and engage with those around them, such as family members, friends and colleagues. Home-Start is simple, focused and valued, with a long track record.”

Home-Start is one of the UK’s leading family support charities. The charity now has 300 Home-Starts supporting nearly 32,000 families and almost 70,000 children each year.  The movement has also spread to more than 20 other countries around the world.

In the UK, nearly 16,000 volunteers visit families in their own homes – parents supporting other parents in a variety of situations including isolation, bereavement, multiple births, illness or disability.

The lecture will take place in the Peter Williams Lecture Theatre on Wednesday 30 October 2013, starting at 5.30pm, with an introduction by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Robert Burgess.

Ends

Notes to editors:

For more information, please contact Annie O'Brian, head of communications, or Vivien Waterfield, deputy chief executive, via email: aobrian@home-start.org.uk.

Home-Start

Home-Start is one of the UK’s leading family support charities. We recruit and train volunteers to support parents, in their own homes, with at least one child under the age of five. The charity was set up in 1973 and now has over 300 Home-Starts supporting nearly 32,000 families and almost 70,000 children each year. Nearly 16,000 volunteers visit families in their own homes – parents supporting other parents in a variety of situations including isolation, bereavement, multiple births, illness or disability.

In 2013 Home-Start is celebrating its 40th anniversary:

  • Home-Start was set up in Leicester in 1973 by Margaret Harrison CBE
  • The Home-Start service is now available to families in communities throughout the UK and on British forces bases in Germany and Cyprus
  • Internationally, Home-Start has been adopted in 22 countries, including Canada, Japan and Uganda.

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