The Right Honourable Yvette Cooper MP
Yvette was first elected as an MP in 1997 and held a range of positions in Government before serving as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Following the 2010 General Election, Yvette served with distinction as Shadow Home Secretary, shaming the Government for its lacklustre response to the Syrian refugee crisis.
Yvette was one of the driving forces which led to the last Labour Government establishing Sure Start, so we were absolutely delighted to welcome her as an LFoSS Patron in 2016.
Sharon Hodgson MP, Shadow Minister for Public Health
As Shadow Children’s Minister in 2013, Sharon co-founded LFoSS with Michael Pavey. Sharon was our inaugural Patron and no-one has done more to fight for our Children’s Centres and to retain ethos of Sure Start. As Sharon says:
“Sure Start is one of Labour’s proudest achievements in Government, providing essential help for families all over the country.
Labour Friends of Sure Start is doing brilliant work highlighting why the Government’s decision to cut Sure Start is a tragedy for families, and I look forward to continue working with them to champion such an important cause.”
Lucy is a leading competition and consumer rights lawyer. As a parliamentary candidate she campaigned against Sure Start closures and she now works for a large charity. We were delighted to welcome Lucy as a Patron in 2016.
In addition to our patrons, we are very grateful to all our supporters in Parliament and beyond. This is just a sample of some our fantastic supporters:
The Rt Hon. the Lord Blunkett
“I am deeply proud to have been the Education Secretary who introduced Sure Start. We now need a fresh start to rebuild this superb programme after the coalition government’s brutal cuts. I applaud the work of Labour Friends of Sure Start.”
Sarah Champion MP, Shadow Secretary for Women and Equalities
“Rotherham recently faced a drastic reduction in the number of Sure Starts, with plans to close more than half of them. It was clear to me that these proposals posed a high risk to giving local children the best start in life, regardless of their background.
Labour Friends of Sure Start supported me from the very beginning to run a campaign to save a number of the centres – which was eventually successful, although sadly not all were able to be saved. Michael in his capacity as Director helped guide our campaign from start to finish with clear intelligence as to what was happening elsewhere in the country and the best way to challenge the proposals. Their insight and professionalism throughout has made a real difference to the campaign and the end result of saving a number of Sure Starts.”
Catherine West MP
“Sure Start Children’s Centres are one of the last Labour Government’s finest legacies but if we continue to see closures or reduction of services on the scale of the last five years this proud legacy will be lost for the next generation. As a party we need to be vocal passionate advocates for the value of children’s centres to families’ lives. No-one does this better than Labour Friends of Sure Start”
Lucy Powell MP
“Labour Friends of Sure Start do a great job standing up for our Children’s Centres, campaigning with parents and community groups to keep them open where they are under threat and developing with Labour colleagues the kind of Sure Starts we want to see in our communities.”