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Writer Anthony Horowitz: why I'm backing this small Suffolk charity

Home-Start Suffolk's annual general meeting. Pictured is author and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz, who is a patron of the charity. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

Home-Start Suffolk's annual general meeting. Pictured is author and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz, who is a patron of the charity. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

Archant

He is famous for writing the TV hit Foyle's War and penning famous children's books such as the popular Alex Rider series.

But renowned author Anthony Horowitz has saved some of his most moving words for why he is backing a small Suffolk charity.

The star screenwriter and novelist, who has a home in Orford and has even reserved a burial plot in the village, has long supported different good causes such as East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) and the anti-bullying charity Kidscape.

Keen to help a cause close to the place he calls home, he has now become a patron of Home-Start Suffolk - a charity based at Martlesham which helps families across the county cope with challenges such as depression and isolation, with a view to giving children the best start in life.

Speaking to this newspaper at the charity's recent annual general meeting about why he had taken on the role, Mr Horowitz said: "I love Suffolk - Suffolk has given me so much and this is a way to give something small back."

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However he also said he was a "great believer in small charities", saying of Home-Start: "They're not a machine, they're much more a community.

"Anything I can do to help, I will."

While Mr Horowitz said he has "doubts about the future of the charity model", it is clear to see how many donated to Home-Start is spent - unlike some bigger organisations, where large amounts of funding could end up being spent on admin.

In a foreword to Home-Start's annual report for 2018/19, Mr Horowitz added that it "really is the perfect charity".

He added: "It's doing very valuable work right where it matters, inside the community, inside people's homes.

"I love the way it brings together local volunteers, giving them the training and support they need to get close to families with issues that may range from poverty to mental health to simply being unable to cope.

"The first casualties in families like these are often children and, as a children's author myself, I believe every young person should grow up not just with dream but with the chance to have some of those dreams fulfilled."

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