Monday 1st June marked the start of Volunteers’ Week 2020, a week dedicated to raising awareness of the contribution made by volunteers across the United Kingdom. This year it is even more important to mark the occasion in light of the thousands of volunteers across the country stepping up their activities in the face of Covid-19.

 

This week Jon Cruddas MP caught up with Nicola Dawn Bullman from Dagenham, the lady responsible for creating the rock gardens in Beam Valley and Beam Parklands. Since lockdown began the rock gardens have been an opportunity for people to come together and leave messages of hope for one another. Many have painted rocks in memory of loved ones lost to the virus.

 

This week Councillor Glenda Paddle with the assistance of Councillor Irma Freeborn built on a campaign by Thompsons Solicitors to support women facing period poverty, an issue which for many has been exacerbated by the current crisis.

In this week alone over £200 worth of sanitary products have been donated by businesses across the borough, including some big names such as Asda – local pharmacies have also supported the campaign. 

 

Over the last few weeks Jon Cruddas MP has been contacted by a number of residents who have received support from and praised the work of the Havering Volunteer Centre. This week Jon got in touch with the HVC for a short interview to find out how they have adapted their model to provide support for some of Havering’s most vulnerable residents.

 

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme this year is ‘Kindness’. This year it is more important than ever to mark the week, raise awareness and start to break down the stigma often associated with mental ill health. 

Ahead of MHAW2020 Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said: “protecting our mental health is going to be central to us coping with and recovering from the coronavirus pandemic - with the psychological and social impacts likely to outlast the physical symptoms of the virus.”

 

Over the past few weeks Jon Cruddas MP has been liaising with residents regarding an ongoing issue with the Multi Faith Cemetery situated on Upminster Road North. Residents have informed Jon about large dust settlements on houses and cars, taking over gardens and even effecting the health of many residents. 

After making representation to both Havering Council and R.E.D Landscapes Jon has finally received an up to date response which has also been hand delivered to residents of neighbouring roads by R.E.D Landscapes themselves. 

 

Since the beginning of the pandemic Tapestry-UK have been working tirelessly alongside Havering Council to ensure that support for the elderly and most vulnerable was in place. The charity has stepped up their operation to meet demand as the situation has shifted.

 

It can be difficult having to cope alone at the best of times, and the Covid-19 crisis has exacerbated many existing societal and mental health issues such as loneliness, anxiety and depression. Talking Therapies which are part of the NELFT Community Emotional Support Programme are a free and confidential NHS service that work with people across Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge and Waltham Forest that need support.

 

Today (07.05.2020) Asda contacted Jon Cruddas MP to unveil their next step in support for those on the Government’s extremely vulnerable list. Jon had previously written to the superstore asking what provision they had in place for the most vulnerable residents across Dagenham and Rainham.

 

The Coronavirus crisis has had a profound effect on society and has changed many lives in the process forcing a rethink of priorities. This week Jon Cruddas MP was contacted by Sattesh Singh of Elm Park on behalf of his 11-year-old son Hemanth Singh. Hemanth had written a letter about his mother’s journey through Covid-19 and out the other side, which his father wished to share with the MP. 

Based on his family’s experience, in his letter Hemanth urges the public to follow Government guidelines so that the pandemic passes, and lockdown can be lifted.

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