The NorPIP Conference Two Is Too Late took place yesterday and it was a sell out! I was delighted with the turnout – over 500 delegates and a waiting list besides. We had representatives from 27 Local Authorities, from Kirklees to Cornwall to Jersey and delegates from Adoption UK, the Royal Society for Public Health and the NSPCC to name a few who also held exhibitions in the atrium.
Our speakers were world class, sharing their expertise on brain development, early years intervention and the consequence of poor early relationships. The Rt. Hon. Iain Duncan Smith MP, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, was our keynote speaker. Iain is a Patron of NorPIP and I am delighted with the support and commitment he has given to early intervention. Iain spoke about his work in establishing the Centre for Social Justice in 2004 and the importance of cross departmental working in government to progress successful early years work. You can read Iain’s full speech here.
Before I became an MP, I was involved as a chair of a local charity called OXPIP for nine years. OXPIP, and its younger sister NorPIP which I set up last year, work with mums and dads who suffer from anxiety, depression, postnatal depression, perinatal psychosis and other issues like domestic violence to help parents establish great relationships with their children to get them off to the best start in life.
It was therefore a great pleasure to launch Parent Infant Partnership UK – PIP UK for short – at the conference, which will provide co-funding and practical support to those local authority areas that wish to establish their own early-years service. My aim is to see ‘PIPs’ like OXPIP and NorPIP established all over the country to help new parents to bond with their babies. It is an exciting initiative and I was delighted earlier this month when the Prime Minister gave his support to the scheme.
I would like to say a huge thank you to all our speakers and delegates for a superb conference. I would also like to say a special thank you to Whittlebury Park for hosting us, the University of Northampton for sponsoring and my Mum and her team of excellent undergraduates from the University of Northampton for organising a brilliant event!