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12 Sep

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP supports appeal for families in Poplar and Limehouse to have a lifesaving talk during Organ Donation Week

September 12, 2017 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick is proudly supporting Organ Donation Week and an appeal for their constituents to talk about organ donation.

33,108 people in Poplar and Limehouse are on the NHS Organ Donor Register but hundreds of lifesaving transplants are being missed around the country every year because families don’t know what their relative wanted.

During the week, NHS Blood and Transplant, hospitals, charities and supporters of organ donation are encouraging people across the UK to talk about organ donation with their relatives and friends.

Jim said:

“I’m proud to support this lifesaving appeal and it’s really easy for everyone to take part – just have a chat.

“That chat might be the next time you sit down for a meal, when you are shopping or working, or when you are just driving in the car. If you want to be a donor, your family’s agreement is still needed for donation to go ahead, even if you are on the NHS Organ Donor Register.”

Families who agree to donate say it helps with their grief and that they feel enormous sense of pride at knowing their relative gave others the chance of a new beginning.

Fiona Loud, Policy Director of Kidney Care UK, commented:

“At least one person dies every single day whilst waiting for a kidney transplant and of the 22 people on the waiting list in Poplar and Limehouse, around 90% of them are waiting for a kidney. You are more likely to need a transplant than to be a donor so please, this Organ Donation Week, just take a few minutes to have a think about what you would do if you needed a transplant, and have that life-saving chat with your family so they know your wishes.”

Anthony Clarkson, Assistant Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said:

“We are really grateful for Jim’s support because hundreds of lives are being lost every year.

“This Organ Donation Week, tell your family you want to save lives.  A few words now can make an extraordinary difference.

“If you are unsure about donation, please ask yourselves as a family; what would you do if one of you needed a transplant?  Would you accept a life-saving organ? If you’d take an organ, shouldn’t you be prepared to donate?”

There is a particular need for more black and Asian people to talk about donation. Patients from ethnic minority communities make up 29% of the national transplant waiting list but people from these communities are less likely to agree to donate. Organs from people from the same ethnic background are more likely to be a close match and give the best chance of a positive outcome.

12 Sep

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Politicians wear it pink for breast cancer fundraiser

September 12, 2017 | By | No Comments

Jim poses in pink with Sky News presenter, Jacquie Beltrao at Westminster to support Breast Cancer Now’s vital research

 

Jim Fitzpatrick MP has dressed in pink to lend his support to Breast Cancer Now’s flagship fundraiser, wear it pink, which will see thousands of people across the UK adding a splash of pink to their outfits on Friday 20 October and raise vital funds for breast cancer research.

Jim is encouraging his constituents in Poplar and Limehouse to join him, and sign up to take part in the UK’s biggest pink fundraiser. The event, which takes place during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is in its 16th year and has raised over £30 million to date for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving research.

Jim joined by fellow parliamentarians in Westminster this earlier this month showed his support for the thousands of women and men affected by breast cancer each year, encouraging people across the UK to take part on wear it pink day.

Anyone can take part in wear it pink, which brings together schools, workplaces and communities. All you need to do is wear something pink, or hold a pink event at home, work or school, and make a donation to Breast Cancer Now. Whatever you do, you’re helping the charity achieve its aim that, if we all act now, by 2050 everyone who develops breast cancer will live.

Jim continues his support for women affected by breast cancer by joining over 190 MPs across the country in being a Breast Cancer Now Ambassador, championing breast cancer issues both in Poplar and Limehouse and nationally, working towards a day that the disease will stop taking lives.

Jim said:

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. One in eight women will face it in their lifetime, and every year around 11,500 women and 80 men lose their lives to the disease. This is why I’d like to encourage everyone in Poplar and Limehouse to take part in wear it pink on Friday 20 October. It’s such a fun and easy way to support Breast Cancer Now’s vital research, and help stop breast cancer taking the lives of those we love.

“Breast cancer affects so many people in Tower Hamlets so as a Breast Cancer Now Ambassador, I am proud to take part in wear it pink to raise awareness of the impact of the disease locally and to support for Breast Cancer Now’s vital research. I hope that everybody in Poplar and Limehouse will join me and wear it pink on Friday 20 October.”

Also in attendance was Sky News presenter and former Olympic gymnast Jacquie Beltrao. Jacquie, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, is lending her support to wear it pink in the hope that thousands of people across the country will take part in the event.

Jacquie Beltrao said:

“I’m very proud to support wear it pink; it’s a great excuse to dress up in pink and have some fun while raising money for a really important cause. I have had breast cancer myself and following my diagnosis and treatment have become incredibly passionate about raising awareness and funds for research.

“Wear it pink has raised over £30 million to date for Breast Cancer Now, which is incredible. The event raises funds for the charity’s world-class research, which will hopefully one day put a stop to this dreadful disease. That is why I’m asking people across the country join me, and the MPs who took part in Westminster, by adding a splash of pink to their outfits on wear it pink day and donating to Breast Cancer Now. I hope lots of people across the UK take part!”

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“It is fantastic that so many MPs dressed up in pink at our Westminster wear it pink event and we are really grateful for all of the support and enthusiasm shown. We hope that by wearing pink, Jim Fitzpatrick will encourage his/her constituents in Poplar and Limehouse to get involved in their local community and help us fund life-saving research this Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“Wear it pink is a wonderful opportunity for communities across the UK to come together and have fun, whilst showing their support for everyone affected by breast cancer. Simply by wearing something pink and donating, you’re raising funds for life-saving research and helping Breast Cancer Now reach our goal that, by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live.”

To take part in wear it pink this October, please visit wearitpink.org/2017 for further details, fundraising ideas and how to register for your free fundraising pack.

12 Sep

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National Air Ambulance Week celebrates 30 years of emergency air ambulances in the UK

September 12, 2017 | By | No Comments

This week Air Ambulance charities across the UK are once again coming together to celebrate National Air Ambulance Week (NAAW) in this the 30th year of helicopter emergency air ambulances (HEMS) in the UK.

Thirty years ago, the first air ambulance service was formed in Cornwall. More recently, Northern Ireland; the only area within the UK without such a service, became operational.
Since then, these critical life-saving services have invested funds to expand their operations, increased their operating hours to operate at night, upgraded to larger aircrafts, increased their medical capabilities with the carriage of blood products and invested in the advanced education and training of their paramedics and doctors.

The charities together raised £162 million in 2016, operated 39 helicopters and fly on average 20,500 missions each year. Collectively, they have a volunteer network of over 2,500 people and are one of the most exciting and innovative group of organisations in the UK.

During NAAW, many of the local charities organise events and initiatives in a bid to generate funds and raise awareness. Members of the public show their support by a variety of means and businesses look for ways of getting involved. It’s the perfect time to show your support.

One idea, which is set to ‘take off’ in support of the UK’s air ambulance charities, is a social media campaign called ‘Pie in the Sky’. The initiative is rapidly gaining pace and involves members of the public posting a video to Facebook, Twitter or YouTube of themselves taking a ‘pie in the face’, pledging a donation and nominating three others to do the same. A TextGiving code has been set up in support of the campaign: PIES21 £2 to 70070

Jim Fitzpatrick, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Air Ambulances (APPGAA) and MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“Air ambulances play an essential role in our emergency services response and the advanced care which has recently plaid a part in a 20% increase in mortality should be commended. The number of incidents where the skills of the crews are needed is increasing, and the types of care needed are becoming more complex as our population ages and we stay more active in to later life.

“The APPGAA are champions and advocates of these life-saving services within Parliament and therefore as Chair I am delighted to help promote National Air Ambulance Week in 2017 with all of my colleagues.”

To find out what your local air ambulance is doing in support of National Air Ambulance Week, contact your local charity or visit their website and social media channels.
For more information on the Association of Air Ambulances and its members, visit: www.aoaa.org.uk

31 Aug

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP celebrates community’s efforts to cure blood cancer

August 31, 2017 | By | No Comments

Celebrating the potential lifesavers in Poplar and Limehouse, Jim Fitzpatrick joined a cross-party Parliamentary event to celebrate the number of people who are registered as stem cell donors.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Stem Cell Transplantation, supported by blood cancer charity and stem cell register Anthony Nolan, held the event to mark the progress made by the transplant community in the past year.

In Poplar and Limehouse the number of potential stem cell donors registered with Anthony Nolan is 1,254. 47% of these donors are male, and the average age is 32.

In total, 645,000 people in the UK are on the Anthony Nolan register, any of whom could be a match for someone with blood cancer and asked to donate their stem cells to give a patient a second chance of life.

Now, Jim Fitzpatrick is encouraging more people from Poplar and Limehouse, particularly men aged 16-30 and people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, to register as stem cell donors and make sure that a match is available for everyone in need of a transplant. While anyone on the register could be a match for someone with blood cancer, men aged 16-30 are most likely to be asked to donate, and are currently underrepresented on the register. There is also a shortage of donors from non-white and mixed-race backgrounds.

Jim said:

“I’m very proud that Poplar and Limehouse has 1,254 people who have selflessly volunteered to give someone a second chance at life. Donating stem cells is straightforward but it could make an enormous difference to someone with no other chance of a cure.

“I strongly hope that more people from the constituency will be inspired to sign up and show that together, our communities can provide a cure for blood cancer.”

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said:

“It’s wonderful to have this opportunity to celebrate the achievements the transplant community has made in the past year, and we’re particularly grateful to all the registered donors in poplar and Limehouse for helping us in our goal of saving and improving the lives of people with blood cancer and blood disorders.

“Anthony Nolan’s pioneering research, dedicated nurses and patient-focused services mean we have increased the support patients receive at every stage of their transplant journey – but without the contribution of selfless donors, our vital work would be impossible.”

For more information about the All Party Parliamentary Group for Stem Cell Transplantation, visit: www.appg-stemcell.org.uk

For more information about Anthony Nolan, visit: www.anthonynolan.org

29 Aug

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“Britain needs a Pay Rise” says Jim Fitzpatrick

August 29, 2017 | By | No Comments

 

High wages can drive high productivity; but under the Conservative Government, wages in London fell by 1.2% per year in real terms compared to a rise of 0.8% from 2002 to 2010.

Britain needs a pay rise. But under the Tories, workers have suffered a pay cut. Average real wages and productivity have stagnated.

To boost productivity requires investment in skills, infrastructure, R&D, access to finance by firms and a range of other factors.

But there is evidence raising wages helps raise productivity too.

This is because it acts as a spur to firms to invest in new technology and training, boosting productivity and maintaining profitability. It also helps to reduce turnover of workers, motivate staff and foster loyalty to the firm, again helping raise productivity.

While wages increased consistently under the last Labour government, they have stagnated under the Tories and the evidence shows no sign of recovery. Here in Tower Hamlets, under a Labour government, wages grew by 0.8%, in real terms, between 2002 and 2010. But since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, fell 1.2%, in real terms.

Labour would act to boost the wages of workers, including the introduction of a £10 Real Living Wage by 2020. To boost productivity and help the economy, we must boost workers’ wages.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said:

“It is a sign of the Government’s complete economic failure that productivity and real wages are lower now, than 2007.

“Raising productivity is a complex issue and will involve measures which include increasing private and public investment in skills, capital and R&D, access to finance for firms. But boosting wages is key too. Higher wages act as a spur for firms to invest in new technology and skills so as to become more productive and maintain profitability.

“Labour plans to take measures to boost wages, including the £10 an hour minimum wage by 2020.”

Jack Dromey, Shadow Minister for Labour, said:

“Britain needs a pay rise. Our economy and our country cannot succeed on low wages and low productivity.

“The Tories have let Britain and British workers down. Under the last Labour government, wages went up year-on-year. However under the Tories, wages have declined in real terms.

“The evidence is clear – Britain will only succeed in the global marketplace as a high-wage, high-productivity, high-quality country, with Labour in government.”

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, said:

“Labour introduced the minimum wage in 1999- the Tories voted against it. They said it would cost jobs and damage the economy but unemployment fell and the economy grew stronger.

“Low pay for working families means more children grow up in poverty, which affects their mental and physical health and limits their chances at school. This in turn has huge negative impact on the economy and one of the many reasons why I fully support a £10 Real Living Wage.”

21 Aug

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Jim Fitzpatrick urges local charities & groups to apply for funding

August 21, 2017 | By | No Comments

Local MP, Jim Fitzpatrick, has urged local charities and community groups to consider applying for a share of over £4 million of funding raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Applications for the latest round of funding are now open and will close on the 28 August.

Both charities and community groups are eligible to apply for the grants of between £500 and £20,000.

The funding will be allocated through one of three Trusts, which support different categories of projects:

People’s Postcode Trust: seeks applications for projects that focus on the prevention of poverty, promotion of human rights, equal rights and conflict resolution for some of society’s most vulnerable groups.

Postcode Local Trust: supports wildlife, sustainability, play areas and green spaces.

Postcode Community Trust: focuses on grass-roots sports, arts, recreation and healthy living programmes.

Over 400 projects were awarded with grants in the last funding round. With previously funded projects ranging from sports clubs, to mental health groups, to wildlife conservation charities, this is a fantastic opportunity for groups to access funding to make a difference in the local community.

Jim said:

“I know many local charities and community groups do fantastic work on very limited budgets but securing extra funds can make a huge difference both for the charity and the local people it supports. I would like to urge all charities and groups in Poplar and Limehouse to consider making an application for this funding.”

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said:

“More than £4 million injected into grass roots projects across Great Britain will have a tremendous impact in local communities. Between the three Trusts, a very wide range of causes are supported, so I’d urge groups to have a look at the websites to see where their project fits – no matter how big or small – and get applying.”

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have so far raised more than £221.2 million to date for over 3,000 good causes across Great Britain and internationally.

For more information on how to apply for funding, please visit the Trusts’ websites:

www.postcodetrust.org.uk

www.postcodelocaltrust.org.uk

www.postcodecommunitytrust.org.uk

09 Aug

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Jim Fitzpatrick backs UK ivory surrender to protect elephants

August 9, 2017 | By | No Comments

Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick has lent his support to a new ivory surrender launched by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to help protect elephants from further slaughter for the illegal ivory trade.

Members of the public are being invited to surrender their own ivory which will be destroyed as part of a campaign to close the UK’s ivory market and save this iconic species from the threat of extinction.

IFAW, which has run previous successful public ivory surrenders in the UK, believes it is vital now more than ever before that the British public stand up for elephants by helping to end consumer demand for ivory products and keep up the pressure for a domestic ban on the ivory trade.

New polling released by IFAW reveals that the vast majority of the UK public want to protect elephants with a UK trade ban and do not wish to purchase ivory themselves. An overwhelming 95% of respondents polled by YouGov stated that they would not be interested in purchasing antique ivory.

Jim Fitzpatrick said:

“I was pleased to join IFAW and offer my backing to this important campaign. Time is running out for the elephant and we need to do what we can to ensure their survival. From the volume of correspondence I’ve received, it’s clear there’s much wider approval.

“I would like to encourage anyone from Poplar and Limehouse who has unwanted ivory to support IFAW’s ivory surrender which will help ensure that ivory is only valued on a live, wild elephant, where it belongs.”

Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said:

“We are very grateful for Jim’s support for our campaign. Time really is running out for elephants and if we do not act now it will be too late. Historically ivory has been seen by many as a status symbol and something to value, but the reality is that a piece of ivory represents a dead elephant, cruelly shot or poisoned for its tusks.

“Many people in the UK have bought or inherited ivory tusks, carvings or trinkets over the years that they do not want now they understand that an elephant has died for this. We are encouraging people to surrender their unwanted ivory, whether legal or illegal, so we can ensure it is put beyond use, and so that it will not resurface on the market or help fuel further illegal poaching of elephants to satisfy consumer demand.”

The legal ivory trade often provides a smokescreen for more illegal killing of elephants and by donating unwanted ivory, IFAW believes members of the public can make a positive contribution to elephant protection. A small number of ivory items will be retained for education and publicity purposes while other donations will be immediately transferred to a secret and secure location and ultimately destroyed by the appropriate Government agency.

IFAW continues to call on the UK Government to ban ivory sales in the UK as a priority.

Mansbridge added:

“We have recently seen strong moves from China and the US to tackle their own domestic ivory markets which is to be welcomed. As a nation of animal lovers in the UK, and with the UK playing such a significant role historically in the ivory trade, it is time for us to also take a stand by saying ivory belongs to elephants and no-one else. We can see there is strong political will in the UK to make this happen, and we need action to stop the ivory trade now.”

Please click here for more information on IFAW’s ivory surrender campaign.

01 Aug

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Government launch consultation into leasehold properties

August 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

Last week the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) announced they would begin an 8-week consultation and consider a range of measures to tackle unfair and unreasonable abuses of leasehold.

The APPG on Leasehold Reform, which I co-chair, and the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership have campaigned tirelessly on this issue and welcome the announcement. We are pleased about the news from the DCLG that they are to consult on the proposal to ban the building of leasehold houses and the removal of opportunities to produce unfair leasehold ground rent terms on all new build homes.

However, many people will be left worried by the scope of the reforms. The APPG will now look to understand from the Housing Department what their position is on existing homeowners who will not be considered under the terms of the consultation.

If you’ve bought a new-build leasehold house or flat since 2005, please click here to fill in a 5-minute survey. We need help to fight back, your efforts will help us to make the case for reform.

31 Jul

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Jim Fitzpatrick reveals impact of Child Poverty in Tower Hamlets

July 31, 2017 | By | No Comments

15,760 children will go hungry in Tower Hamlets over the summer holidays as they will not be able to access the free school meal they were entitled to during term time.

Across the London there will be a total of 212,238 children going hungry without their free school meal, and a total of 700,000 children growing up in poverty will be at risk of going hungry over the summer.

New Trussell Trust data shows increasing reliance on food banks during the summer, with 47% of food parcels that went to children going to primary school aged children.

Across London, hundreds of thousands of children are at risk of going hungry over the holidays. There will be a total of 700,000 children at risk of going hungry this summer across the city, as they are growing up in poverty and their families may not have the money they need to make sure the children are fed.

Real wages are falling in real terms as inflation rises, which will leave more children at risk of going hungry.

Commenting on the statistics Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“It is unacceptable that in 2017 so many children are at risk of going hungry in our community. The last Labour government I was a part of lifted 1 million children out of poverty- one of our proudest achievements. Our ambitious plan was to eliminate child poverty by 2020 but instead, under the Tories, it’s at a seven-year high.

“Tower Hamlets is the worst affected area in London- over 15,000 children will no longer receive the free school meal they were eligible for during term time.

“Labour showed what can be achieved and only Labour will do what is required. Every child deserves to be well fed regardless of their background, and we will introduce a Real Living Wage of £10 an hour to ensure that every family is able to make ends meet.”

27 Jul

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Jim Fitzpatrick Calls for Action on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

July 27, 2017 | By | No Comments

Cut the Stake, Reduce FOBT Harm

 

Jim Fitzpatrick has revealed over £8 million was lost on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in Poplar and Limehouse and backed the work of the FOBT All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) in Parliament, expressing his support for the Group’s ‘Cut the Stake, Reduce FOBT Harm’ campaign.

FOBTs allow punters to stake £100 every 20 seconds on electronic versions of casino games such as roulette, but in a low supervision high street bookie environment. Political concern and controversy has been growing about the highly addictive nature of the machines, with one campaign group even calling them the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling.

The cross-party group of MPs and Peers, published its report in January 2017, assessing the impact of FOBTs, and called for a substantial reduction in the maximum stake playable, stating that there was a strong case for this to be no more than £2.

The campaign has secured the widespread support with the General Synod of the Church of England, 93 local authorities, the Royal Society for Public Health and politicians from all parties supporting the campaign.

Lending his support to the campaign for a stake reduction, Jim said:

“I was extremely concerned to hear that £8,441,681 was lost to FOBTs in Poplar and Limehouse. What needs to be understand is this isn’t just about losing the odd quid here and there, some gamblers are losing serious amounts of cash.

“These machines are strategically placed on high streets in poor areas across the country which in turn, effects vulnerable people and their families. There is no doubt FOBTs are causing harm. I urge the Government to bring forward their proposals, and to substantially cut the stake to £2 now.”

The Government is currently considering responses from the Call for Evidence into Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility launched in October 2016. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is expected to publish the next stage of the Review, with its proposals, in October 2017.

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