Monday 10th October (today) is World Mental Health Day, and with rising mental health issues nationally this year more charities and organisations are working together to raise awareness. This year the theme set by the Mental Health Foundation is psychological first aid, and they are encouraging ‘Tea & Talk’ events across the country to help raise awareness about the support that people can provide to those in distress. You can find out more about these events, and how to host your own by clicking HERE

Young Carers are young people aged 8-18 years who care for a relative.

They may live in a family where someone is affected by a long term illness, disability, mental health issue, alcohol or substance misuse or HIV. The Young Carers Service supports Young Carers in Barking & Dagenham and Thurrock. You can find out more about the work the Young Carers Service does here:

Aviva has recently launched its annual Aviva Community Fund. The competition which is open until 11 October 2016 encourages community groups, charities and the general public to submit ideas and plans for community projects that would truly make a difference to the local area. Entrants can submit plans big and small, requesting up to Up to £1,000, £5,000, £10,000 or £25,000 worth of funding to make the project a reality.

In the London borough of Barking and Dagenham there are over 40 surgeries that operate 5 days a week; alongside the availability of 3 advice surgeries for residents within the borough and in the neighbouring borough of Havering.

However, health care is becoming a growing issue across Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge [BHR]. Local Labour MP Jon Cruddas has recently spoken out about the cuts and reduction of services locally, highlighting that it is “becoming ever more difficult for residents to access good quality health care” in the local area.

The Heathway Medical Centre located on Broad Street in Dagenham has unfortunately failed to meet targets following a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission. The GP practice has been ranked as ‘inadequate’ failing to meet any targets.

The main areas that are looked at during the CQC inspections are; safety, care quality, effectiveness, whether they are responsive and how well-led the facility is. They also look in-depth at specific areas of service such as elderly care, mental health care, families etc.

The practice has now been placed in special measures.

Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham, has demonstrated his support for women with breast cancer by becoming a parliamentary ambassador for leading charity Breast Cancer Now.

Jon joins 200 MPs across the country who are pledging their support to Breast Cancer Now – the UK’s largest breast cancer charity – to remind fellow politicians and constituents alike that breast cancer is not a ‘done deal’ and that immediate action must be taken to stop the disease taking lives. 

Last week was Carers’ Week all around the UK. Carers’ week is a week of recognition dedicated to all the help and support that carers provide for their charges. It doesn’t matter if the carers are professionals, or if they a friends and family looking after a loved one. This week is all about raising awareness of the valuable contribution these people having in the community, alongside promoting the support that carers of all ages might need.

Havering council alongside Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust have suggested that the centralisation of sexual health services for the three boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge at Barking Hospital would be a positive move forward for sexual healthcare, increasing efficiency and quality of service.

On 20th April Jon Cruddas MP attended a parliamentary reception organised by Cancer52, a coalition of more than 80 charities representing rare and less common cancers. The reception was hosted and addressed by Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC), John Baron MP.