38 cross-party MPs, including Jon Cruddas have backed a campaign started by Virendra Sharma MP which calls on the Government to increase the pay of social care workers and nurses to at least the living wage, in recognition of their immense effort during the coronavirus public health emergency.

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.

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.

39 cross-party MPs, including Jon Cruddas have backed a campaign started by fellow MP Virendra Sharma which calls on the Government to waive the £120 Nursing and Midwifery Council registration fee for nurses, in recognition of their lifesaving work during coronavirus epidemic in the UK.

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.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis the council, community and voluntary sector across Barking and Dagenham have stepped up in extraordinary ways to support residents. BD CAN Plus, the Barking and Dagenham Citizens Alliance Network model has been at the forefront of mobilising support for thousands of local people.

Following the NHSE/I letter published on 25th March 2020 confirming that routine face-to-face dental care has been suspended across the country, Jon Cruddas MP this week received reassurance that urgent dental care is available in London. Arrangements have been put in place to ensure patients can access urgent dental care during the pandemic period.

Access to the Urgent Care Hubs

The following process has been implemented in London to ensure patients can access urgent dental care:

Last week the government announced 18 innovative projects that will be awarded up to £25,000 under the TechForce19 challenge. TechForce19 was established to find digital solutions to problems currently being faced by different people in society as a result of Covid-19.

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