It’s that time of year again, the MP’s Christmas Card Competition and Jon Cruddas, as with previous years has spent days agonizing over the winning card. Since the cards were collected from the thirteen schools taking part Jon has been up all night surrounded by cards trying to decide upon a winner.

This month, Tesco will be holding its fifth Neighborhood Food Collection campaign, with support from the Trussell Trust and FareShare. In stores across the country, Tesco shoppers will be encouraged to donate extra food to be collected and distributed to food banks for the needy this holiday season. Last July, this collection was able to provide 5.1 meals to the hungry. The first weeklong collection will be held between Monday 24th and Saturday 29th November. Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham, continues to support this campaign, as he has during past collections.

This Monday, November 10th, marked the beginning of Trustees’ Week, a celebration of the one million charity trustees across England and Wales. Charities will be holding hundreds of events this week to thank their trustees for their hard work and dedication. Trustees are the backbone of any charity, and they perform many vital services often without much recognition.

Local MP Jon Cruddas has thrown his support behind a UK charity’s campaign to improve public transport access for the blind and partially sighted. Last Friday he donned a blindfold to experience a ride on the 103 bus near to his Dagenham and Rainham constituency office.

This weekend councils across the nation held Remembrance Day services in memory of all those who have given their lives in armed conflict. This year, November 11th marks 100 years since the start of World War I, one of the most destructive conflicts in modern history. This Armistice Day will provide an opportunity for us to reflect on the sacrifice all those who lost their lives in service to the nation. Dagenham and Rainham have a long and proud history of service in war.

On Wednesday 29th October Jon Cruddas and a small delegation of people took the 10,000 strong petition against the prison plans to Downing Street. The campaign started 18 months ago and Jon Cruddas has said that with the Ministry of Justice still not ruling us out, the fight continues.

This week c2c launched a public consultation regarding the proposed new services running through Rainham and Dagenham Dock to and from Fenchurch Street.

Back in August Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham contacted c2c regarding their Sunday service levels, requesting that they look at improving the line. Since then, Sunday services have improved by extending all the way into Fenchurch Street instead of just Barking, and the frequency of trains has been increased to every 30 minutes.

Havering Council are currently running a survey on pharmaceutical services in the borough. The Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment is used to identify the gaps in the services available so that they can be improved.

Jon Cruddas MP is currently running a large campaign to improve our local health provision, and this is the perfect chance for residents to share their views on Havering’s current pharmacy services.

The number of Jobseeker's Allowance claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in September 2014 was 2,004. This represents a rate of 4.1% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, the 148th highest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest rate of unemployment, 650th = lowest rate of unemployment.)

Friday 10th October (today) is World Mental Health Day, and with rising mental health issues nationally more and more charities are working together to raise awareness. This year Barking and Dagenham are holding a ‘Time for World Mental Health Day’ event at Barking Learning Centre. The event will be a chance for local people to find out about the services on offer for people with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

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