“We all know how important childhood is; and how the early years shape us for life. We also know how negative the downstream impact can be, if problems emerging at the youngest age are overlooked, or ignored. It is therefore vital that we nurture children through this critical, early period.” – Duchess of Cambridge, 2018.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited a number of local organisations in Blackpool this week (6 March 2019) as part of the Royal Foundation’s focus on giving children the very best start in life.
At Blackpool Central Library, they met with Chloe, an FNP client, who is currently 18 months into the programme. During their meeting, the Duchess asked Chloe about what she had learnt so far on the programme and the aspects of it that she had found most useful.
Chloe talked about the practical skills she is learning through FNP and about what she is now doing to improve her baby’s development, as well as her plans to go back to college: “It was such a privilege to meet Kate and William, I felt that they were really interested in me and what I had to say, they were lovely, and so normal.”
FNP has been delivered in Blackpool since 2008, later becoming an integral part of the local offering for young parents as part of the Blackpool Better Start, a 10-year investment funded by The National Lottery Community Fund. The FNP team in Blackpool are also involved in the ADAPT project, which was recently commended by the House of Commons Select Committees on Science and Technology and Health and Social Care.
FNP site supervisor Lynne Mackinnon was thrilled to welcome William and Kate to Blackpool. Speaking of the visit, she said:
“It was great to see how genuinely interested they both were and their clear passion for early intervention, William said that Kate had given him lots of reading to do! When I spoke about the work FNP does with engaging fathers, William was impressed and said how important it was to involve dads.”
During the visit, Lynne talked the Duke and Duchess through Chloe’s New Mum Star, a tool created by Triangle in collaboration with FNP as part of the ADAPT project, and shared some of the other facilitators used in the FNP programme.
FNP National Unit Director Ailsa Swarbrick said: “It’s fantastic to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge showing interest in early intervention and raising the profile of its importance for long-term health and wellbeing outcomes. We’re delighted that Chloe and Lynne were able to meet them and share their experiences of FNP, from both client and nurse perspectives.”