Fight to save Cornwall's Face 2 Face befriending service

Face 2 Face supporters protesting at County Hall Supporters of Face 2 Face protested at County Hall

Parents of children with disabilities in Cornwall are fighting to save a befriending service.

The charity Face 2 Face, which is run by volunteer parents, has helped about 1,500 families since it was set up.

It is currently funded by Cornwall Council and Scope - but the council funding will stop in March.

A demonstration by supporters of the service took place at County Hall in Truro on Friday.

Start Quote

They know how you feel and what you're going through ”

End Quote Pat Jolley Parent

Pat Jolley, whose son Harley has Down's syndrome, said Face 2 Face had been invaluable.

"You can have as many professionals as you like come to your house - and they do come and they do try to help you - but they really haven't got a clue of how you're feeling," she told BBC News.

"But with a parent befriender from Face 2 Face, they know how you feel and what you're going through because they've actually experienced it."

Neil Burden, the council's deputy leader, said the council had provided funding for Face 2 Face for six years and now wanted to look at providing a similar befriending service for a greater number of families throughout the county.

"What we're going to do is review the whole service because we want to befriend far more families than are picking up support now," he said.

Discussions would take place with parents, health visitors and children's centre, he added, and a new befriending service should start again in September.

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