Treehouse Children’s Hospice
I was privileged this morning to visit The Treehouse children’s hospice. The hospice supports children and their families in many ways, including therapy, play, pain and symptom management, respite, and end of life care.
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices is rightly a very valued organisation in our community, and I know it is something a large number of my constituents feel strongly about supporting.
Today I saw exactly how much work and dedication goes into the support the incredibly team here is able to provide. The facilities are really wonderful, but what makes this place so special is the people behind it. The nurses and every individual on the team clearly put all of their energy into their important, difficult, and rewarding role. I have a lot of respect for the team here making such a difference to the children and families they support.
I will be doing everything I can to support The Treehouse and EACH. EACH relies heavily on philanthropy and fundraising through their 43 shops, and events. The true cost of failing to support families is much higher than investing and providing proper psychological and therapy support to siblings and parents. Collaborating with other East Anglia MPs, I will be writing letters of support for children’s hospice funding to be on a parity with adult hospice funding, which it currently isn’t.
Education Select committee
Today the Education Select committee continued their series of sessions exploring why certain groups in society often underachieve academically in comparison to others. Previously, the committee did an inquiry on white working-class pupils, and today we were looking at the educational challenges facing children from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller backgrounds.
Sadly, the data speaks for itself and we do face specific challenges. Having representation from the Roma community on the panel this morning was insightful, so I was pleased that I was able to bring forward two of my constituents, Marius and Vasile, to share their experiences as teaching assistants and members of the Roma community.
As teaching assistants, Marius and Vasile work to promote integration of children from Roma backgrounds, increasing literacy and English language skills, and act as role models for young people in the Roma community. Vasile explained that some in the Roma community don’t really understand the education system here.
Often parents think that their child can have a day or two off without explanation and when the pandemic hit, the inability of some parents to use laptops made their child’s education very difficult. Working with parents through coffee mornings, Marius and Vasile are doing an excellent job building mutual trust between schools and parents from the Roma community.
Post Covid Restrictions
On TalkRADIO this afternoon we discussed moving back to normal with no restrictions. I am pleased that we are seeing the restrictions eased, that we are one of the freest economies and societies in the developed world, and that we are leading the world when it comes to vaccine rollout and opening up.
Today we have seen big announcements from the Prime Minister, outlining our roadmap back to normality. The government will be working with retailers to ensure that tests are still readily available to buy, and they will remain free for those in the most vulnerable categories. Testing has cost the public purse £15.7 billion so far, so it is absolutely right that we step towards balancing this cost with learning to live with the virus.
In the spring, over-75s and high-risk categories will be offered a booster to provide extra protection.
Grassroots sport in Ipswich is something I have been trying to push for more funding on. Today I met with the Minister for Levelling Up to discuss how this can be done.
I have heard from the Department responsible for levelling up, that the levelling up fund can be used to support grassroots sports – though it is designed for facilities and specific initiatives. There are already a few ideas as to how it can be used to improve sporting facilities, and I will continue to be very involved in this.
I also want to direct funding from the UK shared prosperity fund towards supporting our grassroots sports clubs. When we were in the EU, the money we contributed was controlled remotely to feed different projects. However, now we have left the EU we can use this money to fund our own projects, with more of a local say in how this money is used. I want this money to be injected into our local grassroots sport and will be working in parliament to make sure this happens.
My Interview with GB News
I don’t often talk about the personal impact dyslexia and dyspraxia have on my life, but in an interview with GB news I spoke to Gloria about how these learning disabilities have affected me growing up, as well as at work.
It has impacted different stages of development throughout my life – I couldn’t tie my shoelaces until I was 14, or a tie until I was at university. I also speak about the importance of diagnosis and my own experience coming to terms with what my diagnosis meant.