This week, Jon Cruddas MP’s team had the pleasure of meeting with Dagenham resident, horticultural enthusiast and charity volunteer, John Seaman. John is part of the National Garden Scheme in Essex. The scheme gives visitors access to over 3500 exceptional private gardens in England and Wales. 100 of these gardens are in Essex. The scheme raises impressive amounts of money for nursing and health charities through admissions, teas, and cake. The scheme has been running for 90 years.

John’s Exotic Garden


This week the Child Poverty Action Group held a briefing session for MPs ahead of the Westminster Hall debate on Child Food Poverty planned for Monday 24 May.

The session highlighted that there are currently 4.3 million children living in households below the poverty line, and that based on pre-pandemic data at least two in five children living in poverty across England were ineligible for free school meals.


Last week, Jon Cruddas MP’s team had the pleasure of meeting with the London Riverside Church in Parsloes Avenue, Dagenham. The London Riverside Church is a contemporary expression of church on the East side of London, who has served the Dagenham community since 1927. They are intentionally multigenerational and intercultural with over 40 nationalities calling the church their family home.

Store City


Last week, Jon Cruddas MP heard the news that Barking and Dagenham Council has reopened the former Grays Court Community Hospital as a homeless hostel. The building was reopened under the name “Grays Court” on the 17th of May.

The facilities


This week is Dementia Awareness Week. Jon Cruddas MP has long supported a number of dementia charities and made the case, that with an ageing population, more investment must be directed towards adult social care.

This year to mark the week and raise awareness Jon has asked local Dagenham resident and member of Tide Carers Janis Cottee to explain how the pandemic has impacted social care in our communities and the lives of carers.

The number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in April 2021 was 6,825. This represents a rate of 9.7% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 6.3%.

There are 4090 more claimants than in March 2020 before the UK lockdown began and 15 less claimants than March 2021.


This week (10-16 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme outlined by the Mental Health Foundation for 2021 is ‘nature’. During the height of lockdown in 2020 Jon Cruddas MP contacted the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care urging the government to put in place a comprehensive and strategic plan for mental health support.

Millions of people are now facing financial insecurity as a by-product of the pandemic and many will have been adversely affected by prolonged spells of social isolation.

*PHOTO TAKEN IN 2018 - LtoR: Sean Connolly, Fay Hough, Trevor McKeever, Jon Cruddas


Last month, Jon Cruddas MP’s team had the pleasure of meeting with Billy Adams, one of Dagenham Boxing Clubs finest. Dagenham Boxing Club is a non-profit, voluntary organisation which is dedicated to young people in the local community. When many young men would head home after school to play video games, Billy would head to the club. His dedication to the sport has resulted in Billy being a three-time national champion.

How it started


At the end of March Santander announced that they will be closing 111 of their high street branches across the UK. This announcement included the Dagenham Heathway branch. Santander are one of many banks that have announced closures over the past 12 months.