It’s that time of year again – the Jon Cruddas MP Dagenham and Rainham Christmas Card Competition! This year was bigger than ever with 21 local schools taking part and 21 local businesses sponsoring the event.

Yet again, this month saw the Council Chamber at the Dagenham Civic Centre turn into an explosion of colour! This year there were thousands of cards, making it harder than ever for Jon Cruddas to choose the winning design. However after much deliberation Jon finally settled on a card designed by Daniel Moorey, age 6 from Brady Primary School in Rainham.

Last weekend was Remembrance Sunday, and with a long service history across Dagenham and Rainham there were a number of remembrance events. This year Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham attended the Rainham service. This year was bigger than ever, with what looked like a thousand local residents; who alongside veterans, local cadets and scouts, and dignitaries – marched down Upminster Road South from the working men’s club to the War Memorial in Rainham Village.

Diwali, also known as the festival of lights was celebrated by the Havering Asian Social and Welfare Association (HASWA) at their community centre Greenfields, Kilmartin Way, Elm Park, Essex on Saturday 5th November 2016.  Young and old came together for celebrations along with guests MP for Dagenham & Rainham Jon Cruddas,  Deputy Mayor of Havering CouncillorLinda Van den Hende with Mr Laurence Chalk, Councillors Melvin Wallace, Stephanie Nunn & ,  Barry Mugglestone.  Mr  Fauja Singh the 105 year old marathon runner made a guest appearance.

Earlier this month, the UK Dementia Congress held its 11th annual multi-disciplinary, dementia-focussed event and exhibition in the UK. The event provides a fantastic opportunity for people living with dementia, carers, and other professionals to learn from and be inspired by others’ experiences. The event which this year was open to the public for the first time, aims to help people make connections, and build bridges towards best practice in their own localities.

Earlier this month Local Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas joined TV’s Dr Hilary Jones at an event at the House of Commons to celebrate the role of school milk in supporting childhood health.

Foodbanks call for direct DWP hotline, as new figures show half a million emergency food parcels distributed by Trussell Trust foodbanks in six months.

  • More than 500,000 three day emergency food parcels distributed to people in crisis in first half of the year – over 188,500 to children
  • Issues with benefits account for 44 per cent of all referrals
  • Charity calls for foodbank telephone ‘hotline’ to local Job Centres to support people in crisis more quickly and efficiently, reducing negative impact on mental wellbeing

Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham joined politicians from across London to pledge support for London's Air Ambulance, the charity that delivers a 24/7 advanced trauma team to critically injured people.

Jon said: “it was a pleasure to attend this event, the London Air Ambulance provides a vital service – over the last few years I have pledged my support of the campaign to commission a second air ambulance. I commend all the hard work and dedication of the team.”

This week the Government have announced that community pharmacies will face a 12% cut on current funding levels for the rest of this financial year, and a 7.4% cut on current levels the year after.

The pharmacy sector expect the effect of these cuts to be devastating and the government Minister previously responsible for pharmacy funding estimated earlier this year that up to 3,000, a quarter of all pharmacies, could close because of these cuts.