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.

 

The past week has been filled with discussions about children returning to school next month. Many people including I would support this move if the Government could guarantee the safety of teachers, staff, and our young people. As of yet they are unable to do this. The National Education Union have set out five tests that the Government must meet before they will support the wider reopening of schools;

1-     The new case count must be much lower than it is now, with a sustained downward trend.

 

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 a young resident from the neighbouring constituency of Barking contacted Jon Cruddas MP to share their story and seek support with their fundraising project. Amy Forrester sadly lost her father Steven to Covid-19 on April 6th 2020, he was aged 62 and left behind a father, brother, wife and four children. 

He was passionate about open spaces, the environment, and his local community. To that end his youngest daughter Amy has set up a gofundme page, with the aim of raising money to restore and improve the play area at Parsloes Park in her father’s memory.

 

As the country continues in the grip of the Coronavirus pandemic, official statistics are not yet available to show what the full impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on the claimant count will be.

 

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.”

 

This week would have been Dementia Action Week 2020 but due to the Covid-19 pandemic the Alzheimer’s Society and other leading charities have taken the difficult decision to postpone it. Jon Cruddas MP has been a long-time supporter of dementia awareness campaigns and this year, with the recent controversy surrounding care homes Jon believed that the week should not go unmarked.

 

This week Jon Cruddas MP received a detailed and extensive plan from c2c regarding normal timetables resuming at Rainham and Dagenham Dock stations. 

C2c have stated that they will return to their full, standard weekday timetable from next Monday, 18th May 2020. This date was agreed with the Government in an industry plan jointly created with DfT over the past few weeks and is designed to provide the largest possible step-up in capacity at the earliest deliverable date that train operators are able to do this. 

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