Spooks star Miranda Raison pledges to help Suffolk parents in new patron role

Miranda Raison has become a patron for Home-Start in Suffolk. Picture: MIKE BLACKETT

Miranda Raison has become a patron for Home-Start in Suffolk. Picture: MIKE BLACKETT - Credit: Archant

Television actress and star of BBC spy drama Spooks Miranda Raison is to take on a new role helping to support families with young children - as patron for the charity Home-Start in Suffolk.

Miranda Raison pictured in Aldeburgh in 2011. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Miranda Raison pictured in Aldeburgh in 2011. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

The 42-year-old, known for playing secret agent Jo Portman in the series between 2005 and 2009, has spent much of her life in Suffolk and currently lives in the county with her husband and young daughter.

Having been introduced to Home-Start - which offers emotional and practical support to parents, to enable them to look after their children - by her neighbour and friend Lady Clare Greenwell, Ms Raison is now keen to highlight the difficulties young mothers in Suffolk face.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

Joining author Anthony Horowitz and Maple Farm Kelsale owner Miranda Kendall as charity’s patrons, the role will take on an added significance during the coronavirus pandemic - when the difficulties facing many parents have been heightened by the current crisis.

Ms Raison, who is to star in upcoming HBO and Sky One series Warrior as Nellie Davenport later this year, said: “I am thrilled and honoured to be involved with Home-Start in Suffolk.

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“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.”

Tara Somers, chief executive of Home-Start in Suffolk - which supports parents facing situations such as long-term illness, abuse, isolation and mental health difficulties - 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.”

Home-Start in Suffolk has warned that vulnerable families who might already be socially isolated by mental ill health, relationship breakdown and financial challenges could be pushed further into despair due to coronavirus.

To adhere to the necessary government guidelines and keep people safe, it has had to replace vital home-visiting services with electronic alternatives.

“We believe that during this crisis and indeed 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,” Ms Somers said.

Ms Raison has also tried to help parents keep their children entertained during the lockdown by recently launching a storytelling YouTube channel, where she reads classic stories written by authors such as Beatrix Potter and A.A. Milne for children to listen to.

Visit www.homestartinsuffolk.org or call 01473 621104 for more details.

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