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Jim Fitzpartick
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Charity

11 Dec

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Politicians feline festive at Cats Protection’s Westminster reception

December 11, 2017 | By | No Comments

More than 60 MPs and peers joined Cats Protection at its annual Christmas parliamentary reception to celebrate the charity’s work speaking up for cats, held at the House of Commons. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading cat charity, helping around 190,000 cats every year through a network of over 250 voluntary-run branches and 34 centres.

The charity’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations Jacqui Cuff said:

“Cats are one of the nation’s favourite pets so it was wonderful to welcome so many politicians to our Christmas Reception. Our annual reception is our way of saying thank you to our elected representatives and to the many other animal welfare charities and professional organisations we work with.

“It has been a busy year with our major campaign on kitten sales, our 2022 Agenda for Cats launched ahead of the General Election, and our petition calling for licensing of air guns in England and Wales in line with the new licensing regime in Scotland.

“More than 47,000 supporters joined us in calling for better regulation of commercial kitten sales. We have also received over 75,000 signatures for our air guns petition and are delighted the Government has announced it will be reviewing air gun licensing. Sadly, air guns are frequently used to deliberately inflict harm and suffering on cats.

“All this shows that there are a lot of people who want to see real change to improve how cats are treated in the UK. It’s heartening that so many politicians came along to our reception to support Cats Protection.”

To find out more about Cats Protection’s advocacy work, please visit their website.

11 Dec

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Local MP helps dog welfare charity in fight against Puppy Smuggling

December 11, 2017 | By | No Comments


Jim Fitzpatrick MP highlights plight of smuggled puppies imported to fuel the Christmas puppy trade

Last week Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity – invited a host of MPs and Peers, including Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse to its annual House of Commons reception, where the charity – who coined the famous slogan – ‘A dog is for Life, not just for Christmas’ asked MPs for their support in the fight against Puppy Smuggling.

Dogs Trust has been investigating the problem since 2014, and through three undercover investigations has found that unscrupulous breeders take advantage of, and profit from issues with the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). As a result, underage puppies are being illegally imported into Great Britain from Central and Eastern Europe, and sold to unsuspecting members of the public.

Over the last few months, nearly 100 dogs were seized by APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) at the borders, as dealers take advantage of the increased demand for puppies in the run up to Christmas. Dogs Trust has found that of the puppies who do survive the appalling conditions they are forced to travel in, many require emergency treatment – with dehydration and malnutrition among the horrific conditions they suffer from as a result of travelling for thousands of miles in cramped conditions, with no food or water.

Thanks to quick intervention and expert care from the Puppy Pilot scheme, Dogs Trust has been able to save 94% of the puppies coming into care. 6% sadly passed away. Dogs Trust has also seen examples of heavily pregnant dogs coming into Great Britain, showing that breeders are stooping even lower to flout the system, with no regard for the welfare of the mum or her puppies.

Dogs Trust has warned that although there is a rise in puppies illegally imported during the festive season, illegally imported puppies is a huge issue all year round. The organisation has issued advice to help anyone thinking of buying a puppy, to know what to look for, in a bid to stop buyers unwittingly fuelling the trade. The charity has also issued a plea to anyone thinking of getting a dog, to do their research or consider re-homing instead.

During the event, MPs were invited to take part in a photo opportunity, showcasing the horrendous conditions puppies are smuggled in, with Dogs Trust reporting extreme cases of puppies smuggled in baskets covered with cling-film and crammed in suitcases.

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“I’m very pleased to support Dogs Trust in raising awareness of the plight of illegally imported puppies, who suffer the most harrowing of journeys at the hands of these unscrupulous dealers.

“It’s imperative that the Government takes immediate action by enforcing proper checks at the ports and on-the-spot fines to deter these breeders and dealers, as well as introducing revised legislation as a priority when the UK leaves the EU. We really hope this will help to effectively regulate pet travel.”

Adrian Burder, Dogs Trust CEO, said:

“It’s a shame that we still have to remind people of our slogan, ‘A dog is for Life, not just for Christmas’ nearly 40 years on from its creation. We always encourage responsible re-homing, but as we’ve seen, dealers will go to great lengths to dupe innocent people, making it increasingly difficult for people to spot an illegally smuggled puppy.

“Over the next 12 months, we will continue to push for proper enforcement at UK borders. We will also continue our Puppy Pilot scheme, which rescues puppies seized at borders, funds their quarantine and re-homes them responsibly. So far, this scheme has saved more than 600 puppies.

“We can’t thank Jim Fitzpatrick MP enough for his support, and we look forward to continuing to work together to tackle this issue, and make some much needed improvements in 2018 and when we leave the EU.”

01 Dec

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Charity Commission launches inquiry into Island Health Trust

December 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

The Charity Commission announced today they have begun an inquiry into Island Health Trust, which governs the Island Health Centre, a clinic on the Isle of Dogs. Concerns were raised when GPs at Island Health saw their service charge hiked, despite the Trust holding assets worth around £1.3 million. Public accounts also show the chair of the charity was paid nearly £180,000 in consultancy fees by the NHS in 2014/15.

The Commission stated they’ve been:

“Monitoring the charity’s governance and financial administration since February 2017 after concerns were raised regarding the use of the charity’s funds and potential private benefit to one or more trustees.

“The Commission’s enquiries confirmed that a consultancy company, solely owned by a trustee of the charity, received significant benefits from the charity relating to a strategic development project.”

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“I’m encouraged by the Charity Commission’s decision to open an investigation into Island Health Trust. The inquiry follows months of meetings with the Commission, local Councillors and residents as well as writing to the Department of Health on the issue. It’s only right the Trust is held to account.

“I’m sure the news will be welcomed by residents and patients on the Isle of Dogs, who’ve been calling for transparency as well as the protection of local health services.”

You can read the Charity Commission’s full statement here.

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

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

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

19 Jan

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Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee: FoodCycle Visit

January 19, 2017 | By | No Comments

Members of the EFRA committee visited the FoodCycle centre in Hackney as part of our food waste enquiry.

FoodCycle is a national charity that combines volunteers, surplus food and spare kitchen spaces to feed people at risk of food poverty and social isolation. Thanks to all the volunteers and guests for a very informative visit.

For more information, please visit: http://foodcycle.org.uk/

09 Dec

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Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick joins in feline festivities at Parliamentary reception

December 9, 2016 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick joined other politicians at a parliamentary reception to celebrate the work of Cats Protection and help the charity come up with names for unwanted cats that come into its care.

The event, held at the House of Commons, was hosted on the charity’s behalf by Sheryll Murray MP to highlight its work in campaigning on issues affecting cat welfare in the UK. Cats Protection is the UK’s largest cat charity, helping around 200,000 cats every year through a network of over 250 voluntary-run branches and 32 centres.

The charity’s Advocacy Manager Jacqui Cuff said:

“Cats are one of the nation’s favourite pets so it was wonderful to welcome so many politicians to discuss how we can improve feline welfare in the UK.

“Sadly, despite their popularity, we see huge numbers of cats and kittens coming into our care every year. Cats Protection works tirelessly to tackle the root of the problem, by promoting neutering and offering advice and information on responsible cat ownership.

“This year we have also launched our True Cost of Kittens campaign to highlight a growing kitten breeding industry which frequently puts profit before welfare. As part of this campaign, we’ve been calling for a change in the law to better protect kittens and breeding cats from poor breeding practices that frequently lead to serious health issues.

“Throughout the year, we have been asking MPs for their help in pushing forward these changes which will greatly improve the welfare of cats in the UK. So this Christmas, we thought we’d ask them to get involved in one of the more creative and fun areas of our work – coming up with names for the cats in our care.

“There’s been some lovely suggestions and we’ll be choosing our seven favourites – one for every day of the week – which will be used for cats that come into our care during the New Year.”

To find out more about Cats Protection’s advocacy work, please visit: www.cats.org.uk/speakingupforcats.

 

01 Dec

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Dogs Trust celebrates 125 year anniversary at House of Commons Reception

December 1, 2016 | By | No Comments

 

This week Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, invited a host of MPs and Peers to celebrate its 125th anniversary at its annual House of Commons reception hosted by Neil Parish MP and attended by Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse.

Dogs Trust, or the National Canine Defence League (NCDL) as it was formerly known, was founded in 1891 by socialite Lady Gertrude Stock and a small group of fellow dog lovers. Dedicated solely to helping ‘protect dogs from torture and ill usage of every kind’ the charity has been instrumental in campaigning for dog welfare for the past 125 years.

From its early years campaigning against the widespread use of dogs for vivisection and the persecution of stray dogs following rabies scares, to opening shelters for stray dogs and most recently, successfully campaigning to make microchipping compulsory in England, Scotland and Wales, Dogs Trust has long championed the cause of the nation’s four-legged friends – something it continues to do to this very day.

With 125 years of successful animal welfare campaigning under its belt, Dogs Trust is now looking to the future, and to help raise awareness of the issues the charity will be focusing on over the next year, MPs and Peers were invited to pose for a photo in the ‘driving seat’ of a 1920’s Dogs Trust animal ambulance. Seventy-two MPs and Peers came along to take the wheel of the retro ride, and pledge their support to Dogs Trust as it continues on the road to driving change for dogs over the next year and beyond. Lord Gardiner also spoke at the event highlighting some of the improvements to be made in dog welfare over the next 12 months.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“I am very pleased to support Dogs Trust in raising awareness of the current issues facing the nation’s dogs. Dog welfare is something I feel very strongly about, and I commend the incredible efforts Dogs Trust has gone to in a bid to improve the lives dogs across the country over the past 125 years. I pledge to help do my bit to drive change for dogs over the next 12 months and beyond.”

Adrian Burder, Dogs Trust CEO, says:

“Over the coming 12 months one of the main focuses for Dogs Trust will be the issue of irresponsible breeding. There is currently little to no enforcement on the breeding and sale of dogs in the UK and this is something which needs to change.

“Looking forward, Dogs Trust is calling for a registration and licensing system to ensure better enforcement and traceability of anyone breeding, selling or transferring the ownership of dogs. We believe that anyone selling a single dog or a single litter should be registered with their Local Authority and that anyone breeding two or more litters a year should be licensed as a breeder. These measures should help give prospective puppy buyers more confidence, as well as providing local authorities with a definitive list of individuals involved in this trade.

“We are delighted that the recent EFRA Committee report has made this one of their recommendations along with a call for puppies entering the UK from abroad under the Pet Travel Scheme to be at least six months of age, a move we hope will bring about the end to illegal puppy imports. We are also encouraged that the Committee has recommended that the PAAG Minimum Standards be made mandatory for all classified websites advertising pets for sale. I hope that Government will enshrine these recommendations in law with all due speed.”

To find out more about Dogs Trust and our achievements over the past 125 years, please visit: www.dogstrust.org.uk

 

01 Dec

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP joins charities and businesses to come together to support #givingtuesday

December 1, 2016 | By | No Comments

The global day of giving known as #givingtuesday took place on 29 November and Jim Fitzpatrick was at Parliament to back the campaign.

This is the third year #givingtuesday has taken place in the UK, a campaign which encourages people to ‘do good stuff’ for charity. Over 1,500 charities and businesses have signed up as partners in the campaign including Cancer Research UK, Morrisons, Sue Ryder, Sainsbury’s, the RSPCA and the Financial Times.

In 2015 #givingtuesday broke a Guinness World Record for the most online donations in 24 hours as people gave £35 million to good causes globally. Online donations raised £6,000 a minute for UK charities. The event was the top trend on Twitter throughout the day with more than 100,000 mentions using the hashtag. Celebrities and politicians including Stephen Fry, JK Rowling, Gary Lineker and Tom Daley backed the campaign.

#givingtuesday now runs in over 70 countries including the US, Canada, Germany, Spain, Singapore, Australia, Tanzania, Russia and Ireland. It is led in the UK by the Charities Aid Foundation, one of Europe’s largest charitable foundations which supports charities in managing their money and helps people and businesses give to good causes. The theme for 2016 is simply to ‘do good stuff’. Charities, businesses and individuals can sign up to be part of the event at www.givingtuesday.org.uk or connect via Facebook and Twitter.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“I’m delighted to support this year’s #givingtuesday campaign. It’s a great event and an exciting opportunity for charities and businesses in Poplar and Limehouse to showcase the work they do all year round.”

Hannah Terrey, Head of Policy and Campaigns, at the Charities Aid Foundation said:

“It is fantastic to see so much enthusiasm for the #givingtuesday movement from so many amazing individuals and organisations across the country.

“After the festive retail frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday #givingtuesday is a great opportunity to give something back and we are thrilled that so many people used the day to do good stuff for charities they care about.”

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