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28 Apr

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP tucks into a Christian Aid Big Brekkie in solidarity with refugees

April 28, 2017 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, this week tucked in at a Christian Aid Big Brekkie event in Parliament, to show his support for Christian Aid Week (14-20 May), which is raising money for refugees fleeing conflict around the world.

Ahead of Christian Aid Week, Jim Fitzpatrick attended the event in Parliament to find out about activities and events taking place during the charity’s annual fundraising week in Poplar and Limehouse. Last year, £2523.81 was raised in Poplar and Limehouse during Christian Aid Week.

As Christian Aid marks 60 years of Christian Aid Week, the organisation is inviting people to join them in a Big Brekkie breakfast to stand in solidarity with refugees around the world. The charity has been working with refugees since the Second World War, and is not turning its back now.

Today, tens of millions of people across the globe are forced from their homes due to war, conflict and disaster. Many make life-threatening dangerous journeys in search of a safe place to call home.

While the majority of today’s refugees continue to seek sanctuary in poor countries, in 2015 more than once million refugees crossed into Europe. With borders across the continent now closed to refugees, thousands are stranded – and in need of urgent help.

Nejebar, from Afghanistan, fled her homeland after the Taliban announced they would kill anyone who worked for the government, like her husband Noor.  They eventually sought refuge in Greece with their children, after a treacherous journey across the Mediterranean in a small rubber dinghy.  The young family have left their home, family and friends behind, and now reside in a small tent, with no certainty on their future, especially that of their children.

Jim said:

“I was pleased to meet with Christian Aid and hear about the great work that’s being done in Poplar and Limehouse and across the country to help refugees at this desperate time. For millions of people around the world displaced from their homes, Christian Aid’s work provides vital support. I encourage my constituents to get involved in Christian Aid Week events where they can.”

Simon Kirkland, Christian Aid’s UK Parliamentary and Political Adviser, said:

“We are really grateful for Jim Fitzpatrick’s support for Christian Aid’s important fundraising events in Poplar and Limehouse. Everyone can do something to help this Christian Aid Week, whether its attending a local event, giving money or praying for the world’s many refugees at this difficult time. Thank you to everyone who is able to take part in this year’s Christian Aid Week.”

This year, the people of Poplar and Limehouse will once again be holding events during Christian Aid Week to support our work with refugees. So far, the events we know are happening include:

  • 14 May 9.15-10.15am: Big Brekkie, St Mary’s, Bow Church
  • 16 May, 8am – 6pm: station collection, Mile End tube station ecumenical (St Mary’s, St Paul’s Bow Common, Bow Road Methodists)
  • 21 May, time to be confirmed: Christian Aid Week Service, Great Light Connections
  • 20 September: Station collection at Canary Wharf station by Poplar Christian Aid Group

11 Apr

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Make sure YOUR voice is heard! Register to vote today…

April 11, 2017 | By | No Comments

It takes 5 minutes to register and all you need is your National Insurance number, address and date of birth.

Londoners aren’t going to the polls just yet but the elections taking place around the country next month are a timely reminder of why you need to register to vote- if you’re not signed up, you won’t be able to take part.

Make sure you have your say → gov.uk/register-to-vote

 

05 Apr

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP leads charge to increase employment opportunities for disabled people through 30-day challenge to local business

April 5, 2017 | By | No Comments

MP for Poplar and Limehouse has undertaken a challenge to make the employers in the constituency more inclusive, encouraging them to sign up to the Disability Confident scheme which helps employers open up their workforce to disabled people.

The challenge, to sign up 30 businesses in April, is part of a national campaign run by the Disability Confident scheme, which supports employers to increase the diversity of their workforce and offer opportunities to disabled jobseekers, including work experience, apprenticeships, work trials and employment.

Jim said:

“Disabled people make up a fifth of the working age population and our local employers could be missing out on a large proportion of the talent in our community and a chance to become more diverse.

“I hope this scheme will lead to a lot more employers becoming Disability Confident and improved opportunities for local disabled people to realise their potential in the workplace.”

To find out more information and how you can sign up, please click here.

05 Apr

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Do you have what it takes to change the world? asks Jim Fitzpatrick MP

April 5, 2017 | By | No Comments

The British Council seeks exceptional young people aged 18-35 to join a nine-day workshop to develop leadership skills, learn from global policy experts and attend private meetings with inspirational leaders.

Successful applicants will take part in regional heats to win the opportunity to meet with MPs in the UK Houses of Parliament

The search is on for a new generation of leaders to join emerging leaders from nine other countries for an intensive policy and leadership development opportunity, culminating in a conference in the UK Houses of Parliament.

Future Leaders Connect, launched this year by the British Council, will offer nine days of leadership learning and development for young people to provide them with the skills they need to turn innovative ideas in to tangible policy recommendations.

Those taking part will meet heads of NGOs, policy-makers and British MPs.

Jim said:

“We have a long, proud tradition of democratic policy-making in this country and this is a great opportunity for the next generation of leaders to take it forward. The connections these young people will make not only with UK decision makers but also with their counterparts from across the world, will be invaluable to them in their careers.

“I would urge anybody from Poplar and Limehouse who wants to make a difference, have their voice heard and become a great leader, to apply to Future Leaders Connect.”

Anyone who would like to take part needs to submit an online application by 23.59 Sunday 14 May. They will be asked what their unique policy ideas are and about their experience as a leader.

www.britishcouncil.org/future-leaders-connect

They will join finalists from ten other countries for a nine-day programme which will include training in public speaking, policy development expertise and leadership skills. This culminates with one day in the Houses of Parliament, meeting MPs and law makers.

Sir Ciarán Devane, the Chief Executive of the British Council, said: “An international outlook is vital for the future leaders of all countries, if they wish to overcome the challenges they will face.

“Through Future Leaders Connect the British Council will help a new generation to understand practical policy development by putting them in contact with the leaders of today. The programme will help them to develop the skills and international contacts they need to make positive change in their countries.”

15 Mar

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP meets local scientist at STEM for BRITAIN

March 15, 2017 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick met local scientist Anasua Chatterjee at STEM for BRITAIN, a poster competition in the House of Commons involving over 200 early stage or early career researchers organized by the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee.

Anasua from University College London was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to appear in Parliament and her poster on research about ‘splitting the electron in a silicon transistor’ was judged by professional and academic experts against dozens of other scientists’ research in the only national competition of its kind.

Jim said:

“These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future and STEM for BRITAIN is a great opportunity to meet them and learn about their work.

“I enjoyed meeting Anasua today and found her work fascinating. I wish her every success in the future.”

02 Mar

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP swears to take on mental illness

March 2, 2017 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick has pledged to take on the unacceptable lack of progress in tackling young people’s mental health. The Member of Parliament for Poplar and Limehouse joined MPs from all parties in swearing to tackle mental illness at an event in Westminster.

New figures from mental health research charity MQ show that four in 10 (42%) people in the UK have come to believe that mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression are now an inevitable part of life, such is the lack of understanding and action around mental health.

84% say that not enough is being done to tackle mental illness for the future. And 68% of parents believe that having more education about mental illnesses could prevent suffering for future generations.

Three children in an average class are affected by a diagnosable mental illness. But many are waiting a decade between experiencing their first symptoms and getting help. Only a quarter of young people referred to services receive appropriate care.

Overall only £8 is spent on research per person affected on mental health in the UK, which is 22 times less than per person for cancer (£178) and 14 times less than dementia spend (£110).

And despite 75% of mental illness starting before the age of 18, less than 30% of the total mental health research spend is focused on children and young people. As a result, the majority of mental healthcare resources are not designed or developed for young people, leading to poor treatment outcomes in young people and hindering prevention efforts.

Jim said:

“Mental illness should not be seen as a day-to-day part of life. The current state of mental health treatment would simply never be accepted for a physical condition- we need parity. Through research we can get to grips with this growing crisis in young people’s mental health – and build progress towards much-needed hope for everyone affected.”

Swear to take on mental health. Search #WeSwear on social media or visit: http://www.mqmentalhealth.org/we-swear for further information as to how you can help.

01 Mar

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People with Arthritis need more support to work, says MP

March 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick MP has called on the government to provide more support for workers with arthritis to help close the ‘arthritis employment gap.’

Arthritis is the number one cause of pain, disability and working days lost, according to Arthritis Research UK, which highlighted the issue to Jim at a recent parliamentary briefing. Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions like back pain affect one in six of us.

Musculoskeletal conditions cause pain, stiffness and fatigue that can make every day work tasks such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, and typing difficult. They are the leading cause of workplace absence in the UK, causing 32.4 million sick days each year.

Only 60% of working age people with a musculoskeletal condition are in work, compared to 80% among those without a health condition or a disability. This ‘arthritis work gap’ means that 600,000 people with arthritis are currently missing out on the opportunity to work.

Now, following the Government’s Improving Lives consultation on employment support for disabled people, Jim is calling on the Government to ensure that people with arthritis have the support to stay at work for longer:

“It’s clear how enormous the impact of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions is on our local communities. 30,975 residents are living with back pain, a leading cause of sickness absence, in Tower Hamlets right now – 11% of local people.

“The ability to work is something that we often take for granted, but I’ve learnt today that for those living with arthritis this can be difficult. But with the right support and flexibility many people are able to work.

“That’s why I’m supporting Arthritis Research UK’s ‘Work Matters to Me’ campaign, putting this vital issue on the map. The Government must ensure that there is a level playing field so that people with arthritis who are able to work have the right support to remain and return to work.”

Dr Liam O’Toole, chief executive officer at Arthritis Research UK, said:

“I’m delighted that Jim is supporting our campaign to give people with arthritis the freedom from their condition in employment, enabling them to live their lives to the full.

“The current situation for people living with the daily pain of arthritis is untenable. Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain are the number one cause for workplace sickness absence in the UK.

“Our retirement age has increased and we’re an ageing working population, so even more people are going to be living with the pain and unpredictability of arthritis, and face an uncertain working future.

“But with the right kind of support and job; work can benefit your mental and physical health as well as your financial position.

“We need to see Government action to address the employment needs of people with long term conditions such as arthritis, so that they have the right support and opportunity to maintain their freedom and quality of life.”

To find out more about working when you are living with arthritis please visit our website at http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/arthritis-and-daily-life/work-and-arthritis.aspx

01 Mar

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP puts Poplar and Limehouse’s heritage on the map

March 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

Event in parliament reveals the impact of National Lottery investment in Poplar and Limehouse and its position on the RSA’s Heritage Index.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse, attended an event in Parliament hosted by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to learn more about the impact of National Lottery investment in his constituency and where it ranked on the RSA’s 2016 Heritage Index.

Produced in collaboration with the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Heritage Index is an annual index that combines over 120 metrics, from historic buildings to local delicacies, revealing which local authorities are best at using heritage to foster a distinctive identity – and which could do better.

Analysis of this year’s index reveals that places which do most with their heritage have a higher quality of life (ONS well-being measures) than areas which have low levels of activity. As well as inherited physical assets such as battlefields and castles, the index measures new forms of heritage activity like community initiatives and volunteering. Jim Fitzpatrick MP discovered that Poplar and Limehouse sits in the 86th position overall in England, but that there is potential to make more of its heritage.

Jim said:

“It was great to attend this event and hear more about Poplar and Limehouse’s heritage assets and how they are being used by the community. I would urge constituents to think about the local heritage where they live, and think about how they could apply to HLF to undertake a project to explore it further.”

This event was part of National Lottery in Parliament, an exhibition to raise awareness among politicians in Westminster of the National Lottery funding available to its constituencies and demonstrate how National Lottery players’ money is changing people’s lives and improving the nation’s wellbeing.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of HLF, said:

“Heritage is at the heart of what makes a place distinctive. The Heritage Index is a vital tool which is helping communities to better understand that heritage and tap into its vast potential. Securing National Lottery funding is one way of helping to fulfill that potential and it’s been making a difference to local communities across the UK for over 20 years.”

Since The National Lottery started in 1994, the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded over £30 million to almost 90 projects in Poplar and Limehouse.

Find out more about the Heritage Index 2016 at the RSA’s here: www.thersa.org/heritage and here http://bit.ly/RSAHeritageIndexdata. Find out more about accessing National Lottery funding for heritage projects at www.hlf.org.uk

01 Mar

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP joins Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to demand tougher punishments for animal abusers

March 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick is backing a new campaign by leading animal welfare charity, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, to call for tougher punishments for people who abuse and neglect animals.

England and Wales’ unacceptably low punishments for animal abusers are some of the weakest in the Western world. Battersea has launched a major campaign calling for the maximum sentence for severe animal cruelty offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to be raised to five years in prison, which is common elsewhere.

Under the current law in England and Wales, the strongest sentence for even the most depraved cases of animal cruelty is just six months in prison – the lowest such sentence in Europe, the United States and Australia. Prison sentences for offences such as fly-tipping or theft are much higher.

Attending the launch of the campaign in the Houses of Parliament, Jim pledged his support to increase sentences for animal abusers.

The Poplar and Limehouse MP said:

“It is unacceptable that people can abuse and neglect animals and get away with such a small penalty. Battersea’s research shows England and Wales have the lowest sentences for cruelty across 100 countries and states worldwide. Six months in prison is neither a punishment nor a deterrent when it comes to some of the most serious offences. I’m standing up for animals by supporting this campaign and calling for tougher penalties.”

Like many animal welfare charities, Battersea cares for the victims of cruelty and neglect, with many making remarkable recoveries under the care of the charity’s Veterinary team. These include Tiger, a tabby cat brought into Battersea on 25 January. Concerned about his condition, the Veterinary team rushed him into X-ray, where it was discovered he had been shot in the head at close range with an airgun. Two metal pellets were found lodged in his skull and, had they been any closer to his brain, would have proven fatal. During a delicate surgery, Battersea’s highly-trained staff were about to carefully remove the pellets without causing further damage and Tiger has recovered well from his terrible ordeal.

Claire Horton, Battersea’s Chief Executive, said:

“It isn’t acceptable that our courts are unable to hand out tougher sentences in such extreme animal cruelty cases, yet the likes of fly-tipping can result in prison sentences of up to five years. Let’s get this into proportion and let the punishment for abusing animals truly fit the crime.”

15 Feb

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP pledges to help end the ‘cold homes crisis’ in Poplar and Limehouse

February 15, 2017 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick is supporting charity National Energy Action’s Fuel Poverty Awareness Day on Friday 17 February by pledging to do more to ‘tackle cold homes’.

Fuel Poverty Awareness Day is a national campaign to highlight the problem of fuel poverty, which currently sees over four million households unable to afford the energy they need to stay warm and healthy in their homes. It is a particular problem for those in low incomes living in energy inefficient homes that are difficult and expensive to heat.

Jim said:

‘Living in a cold damp home can lead to extremely poor health, especially in those who are vulnerable such as older people, young children, and those with long term sickness and disabilities. Not only will it be causing misery for millions of people this winter, but also costing our already underfunded NHS an estimated £1.36 billion each year.

“In Poplar and Limehouse 3626 households are believed to be in fuel poverty. I know there’s excellent work going on in my constituency but the as the research shows more needs to be done. I look forward to working alongside others in the community to help raise awareness of the problem and the solutions available.”

Jenny Saunders OBE, Chief Executive of National Energy Action commented:

“Fuel poverty is a serious problem and one that we cannot tackle alone. I am delighted that Jim is supporting the campaign and helping to ensure that his constituents can live warm, healthy and happy lives.”

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