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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

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.”

28 Nov

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Electrical bargains not all they seem

November 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

Research by leading safety charity, Electrical Safety First, found that 1 in 6 consumers in the UK have bought a fake electrical item as a Christmas gift – and most of us are unable to identify a genuine electrical product from a fake.

Now Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse is helping the charity raise awareness of the dangers of counterfeits in the run up to the Christmas shopping period when high street and digital retailers offer a range of special offers and discounts.

“Christmas is always expensive and we are all keen to get a bargain but Electrical Safety First’s research makes it clear that shoppers must beware of fakes, particularly via the web”, explains Jim. “The Charity found that 3 out of 5 fake electricals are purchased online, with a third of buyers experiencing major problems with the item. And with almost half of all domestic fires in UK homes caused by electricity, this is a risk you don’t want to take.”

Electrical Safety First also found that it’s not always easy for people to spot a counterfeit product. Three quarters of UK consumers were unable to identify genuine ‘GHD’ hair straighteners and 3 in 5 could not spot a fake ‘Apple’ charger and with the rise of online shopping, it can be even more difficult. One in 5 online shoppers admitted they didn’t consider the authenticity of the product, with over half simply presuming that the electrical items for sale online were genuine.

And, of course, some people are deliberately buying fake products. One in 6 of those surveyed said they would consider buying a product, even if they suspected it was fake, if it was cheaper than the original.

Jim added:

“Fake goods are often cheaper because they omit key components which can affect both the safety and functionality of the product. To make sure you buy ‘the genuine article’, Electrical Safety First has developed advice to help people spot a fake electrical product. I’m urging all my constituents to check this before they do their Christmas shopping.”

For more information, visit: www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/guides-and-advice/electrical-items/safe-shopping/

21 Nov

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Local MP calls for greater Meningitis vaccine take-up

November 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick MP is taking a leading role in a campaign to help protect young people’s health in Poplar and Limehouse.

He has signed up to promote meningitis awareness and vaccine take-up with GPs following a Parliamentary reception organised by charity Meningitis Now.

The charity is campaigning to increase the take-up of the lifesaving Men ACWY vaccine, which is available free to first-time university students up to the age of 25.

Jim said: “The low uptake of the Men ACWY vaccine among this at-risk group of young people is very worrying.

“I don’t want to see anyone in my constituency dying because they didn’t know about or didn’t get around to getting this vaccination.

“As we enter the peak season for bacterial meningitis I’ll be writing to local GP practices and university leaders to urge them to do more to promote awareness and encourage improved take-up.”

Following an increase of 809 per cent in meningococcal (group W) meningitis cases in the past five years around the country, Government launched a vaccination programme to protect young people aged 14 to 15 through schools and those aged 17 to 18 and first-year students up to 25 through GPs and clinics.

Despite the increasing risk to students and the recent deaths of a number of them across the UK, the uptake of the Men ACWY vaccine within this vulnerable age group remains very low, with just 17.4 per cent taking up the vaccine in England, and similar levels across Wales and Northern Ireland.

Jim has pledged to support the charity in its awareness-raising work and will be writing to GPs and university leaders locally to encourage them to do more to persuade young people to take up the vaccination.

“It is vitally important that students protect themselves with the Men ACWY vaccine and learn the signs and symptoms of the disease,” Jim added. “It only takes a few minutes and it could save theirs or their friend’s life.”

Liz Brown, chief executive of Meningitis Now, said: “We welcome Jim Fitzpatrick’s strong stand and support in persuading GPs to encourage students to protect themselves.”

Up to a quarter of students carry the bacteria that can cause meningitis compared to one in ten of the general population. Over 12 per cent of all cases occur in the 14 to 24 age group, with first year students being at particular risk.

Meningitis Now, in its 30th anniversary year this year, is working towards a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need.

It does this by funding research into vaccines and prevention, raising awareness so people know what to look for and what action to take if they suspect meningitis and rebuilding futures by providing dedicated support to people living with the impact of the disease.

For more information on meningitis and the work of Meningitis Now visit: www.meningitisnow.org

07 Nov

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Local MP Jim Fitzpatrick praises local charity trustees

November 7, 2016 | By | No Comments

To mark the start of the seventh annual Trustees’ Week, Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, is celebrating the important contribution that charity trustees make to their local communities and thanking the 2947 trustees in Poplar and Limehouse for their hard work over the last year.

A wide range of activities and services are carried out by the charities in Poplar and Limehouse. All of which couldn’t carry out their important work without the diligent efforts of trustees, most of whom are volunteers.

Trustees Week which runs from 7-13 November highlights the important work that charity trustees do all year round and raises awareness of how people can gain valuable experience and skills through volunteering as a charity trustee.

This year’s theme for Trustees’ Week focuses on Stronger Charities through Good Leadership, reflecting the excellent leadership the Charity Commission often sees in its case work from a range of trustees and charity staff.

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, said:

“The charities in Poplar and Limehouse wouldn’t be able to make a difference without the important contribution of the charity trustees. With so many great local charities doing important work, I want to mark the start of national Trustees’ Week by thanking the 2947 local charity trustees for their tireless dedication to the civic life of Poplar and Limehouse.

“I would like to encourage anyone thinking of becoming a trustee to use Trustees’ Week to find out more about the role and the various ways they can get involved. Trusteeship brings excellent opportunities including meeting new people, developing new skills, and applying existing expertise to new, real-life challenges.”

William Shawcross, Chairman of the Charity Commission, said:

“We know the work of trustees is crucial to the success of their charities, and they often bear a considerable load. However, this Trustees Week we want to encourage trustees to keep doing excellent work – and remind them that despite the recent increase in focus, the legal burden hasn’t changed.

“We see great stewardship in our engagement with charities, often by trustees facing difficult and complex situations. Some of the best decision-making we have seen has been a product of having diversity on boards, meaning trustees can challenge each other and offer conflicting perspectives to ultimately achieve the best outcome for their charity.”

Trustees’ Week runs 7-13 November 2016. To learn more about Trustees’ Week and trusteeship, visit www.trusteesweek.org and follow @trusteesweek. The website includes case studies, recruitment resources, details of local events being held during Trustees’ Week and links to trustee matching services for those who want to become a trustee.

 

02 Nov

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Get involved in UK Parliament Week: 14-20 November 2016

November 2, 2016 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick MP is calling for organisations in Poplar and Limehouse to take part in UK Parliament Week, an annual programme of events to connect people with UK Parliament.

Parliament Week 2016 begins on 14 November and will see schools, museums, charities and businesses around the country join in a week long programme of activities and events which explore what the UK Parliament means to them and their community.

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

‘UK Parliament Week is a great opportunity for organisations here in Tower Hamlets to engage their audiences or members in this national programme. There are many ways you can get involved – put on an event such as a debate, exhibition, or online event or visit the UK Parliament Week website for more ideas. Become a UK Parliament Week partner and, along with organisations from across the UK, add your voice to this exciting project.’

Schools are also invited to take part in Parliament Week. For more information, please visit: www.ukparliamentweek.org

 

02 Nov

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Jim Fitzpatrick joined politicians from across London to pledge support for London’s Air Ambulance

November 2, 2016 | By | No Comments

MPs, Peers and GLA members gathered in Parliament on Tuesday to congratulate the charity on winning the Pride of Britain Emergency Services award.

Advanced trauma doctors and paramedics also attended and set up medical demonstrations so guests could try out life-saving medical treatment on realistic dummies.

Politicians were also able to meet the helicopter pilots, fire crew and former patients at the event, hosted by London MPs Rushanara Ali (Labour) and Boris Johnson (Conservative) – key supporters of the charity.

Welcoming guests to the event Rushanara Ali said:

“It’s wonderful to celebrate the tireless work London’s Air Ambulance does to support people across our city.”

Rushanara explained to the guests that London’s Air Ambulance had been named winner at this year’s Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards, which were broadcast on ITV on Tuesday night. The charity was recognised for its use of a ground-breaking procedure on patient Vicky– known as REBOA (Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta) – to prevent patients from bleeding to death after major trauma. She introduced a video showing the procedure being performed on Vicky, her constituent, who also attended the reception.

Dr Anne Weaver, Emeritus Doctor with London’s Air Ambulance then spoke to the room of over 100 guests to explain why the charity plays such a crucial role, and what politicians can do to support:

“Trauma is the biggest killer in under 45s, even in children. So we deliver the hospital to the roadside, to our patients, when they need it most. We work alongside our NHS partners, Barts Health Trust and the London Ambulance Service to improve the outcome for so many people whose deaths are preventable.

“London’s Air Ambulance is there for the 10 million people who live and work in London. As influencers in your constituencies please do what you can to help us serve London and spread the message we are a charity.”

Speaking about the House of Commons event, CEO of London’s Air Ambulance, Charles Newitt said:

“This was our most successful Parliamentary Reception with a high turnout of politicians from across London and across the political parties. It was a pleasure to be able to meet with them, explain more about our charity, and receive their pledges of support.”

Since the charity started in 1989, it has treated more than 35,000 patients. Some of those former patients met their local MP at the event to share their stories. All London MPs and Assembly members were invited to the reception, as well as any politicians with an interest in health or charities.

For more information on the charity and the incredibly vital work they do, visit: https://londonsairambulance.co.uk/ 

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