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Parents group quizzed by MPs
By

A BAND of helpful Parentline Plus volunteers and staff ventured into London to showcase their work in front of some of the most influential people in the land.

The ten-strong Hertfordshire group was invited to the Houses of Parliament to give a presentation on their work at Parentline Plus, which offers 24-hour help and support to families through a wide range of free services, shaped by parents for parents.

Organised by Welwyn and Hatfield MP Grant Shapps and Broxbourne MP Charles Walker, the day trip took place at the end of last month.

A number of the volunteers recounted their personal experiences of helping the county's parents on the charity's free 24-hour Parentline.

Sandra Hiller, area manager of Parentline Plus in Hertfordshire, said: "It was really useful to be able to give the MPs a presentation of our services.

"The MPs were really interested and they engaged with our volunteers about the work on our helpline.

"They vowed to help us in any way, which is terrific."

During the day, the group got the chance to meet MP Anne Main, Hertford and Stortford MP Mark Prisk and North East Herts MP Oliver Heald, who is also a front bench shadow minister. They also had a personal tour of the House of Lords and were given the opportunity to sit in the Commons to listen to the day's debates.

There are currently more than 24 million people who are parents in the UK. Parentline Plus, which is based in Hatfield, runs free Parents Together workshops across the county, giving parents the tools and ideas to build closer relationships with their children.

Workshops cover topical parenting issues, such as living with teenagers, coping with a new baby and resolving conflict in the family.

Parents can also access an A to Z of parenting topics such as aggression in children, exam stress, internet safety and truancy by visiting www.parentlineplus.org.uk For more information or support, call the Parentline Plus on or textphone .

3:36pmWednesday5thJuly2006

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