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10 Nov


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Trustees’ Week

November 10, 2014 | By | No Comments

trustees week

Hundreds of events will be taking place this week as charities use Trustees’ Week as a time to thank the one million trustees across England and Wales for their time and dedication.

There are 310 voluntary organisations in Poplar and Limehouse that all rely on the dedication, energy and commitment of c. 1,700 trustees in order to support their beneficiaries.

Trustees are the people ultimately in charge of a charity. They make decisions that help charities achieve their aims and change their beneficiaries’ lives.

It is also a time to encourage more people to become trustees, as many voluntary organisations find it difficult to recruit new trustees. As many as one in five charities are looking for a new trustee.

Being a trustee allows you not only to make a difference to the lives of others, but to learn new skills, meet different people, and develop your career. Voluntary organisations are always looking for a range of skills and different backgrounds on their boards, as well as more young people. You can find out more about trustee vacancies in your local area through NCVO’s Trustee Bank, Charity Job and Do It.

05 Nov


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Penny for London

November 5, 2014 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse, throws support behind Penny for London scheme

016 Penny for London

  • Jim Fitzpatrick joins other London MPs from across the political divide to support Penny for London
  • New ‘Penny for London’ scheme is the 21st century answer to charity collection tin
  • Proceeds will benefit disadvantaged young Londoners via Mayor’s Fund for London and other London children’s charities
  • Members of public can opt-in to donate as little as a penny using world-first contactless payment technologies

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, threw his support behind Penny for London this week and urged all constituents to register for the ground-breaking new scheme.

Unveiled by Boris Johnson last week, ‘Penny for London’ is a revolution in charitable giving which is set to transform the life chances of young Londoners from disadvantaged backgrounds all over the capital.

The new scheme, devised by the Mayor’s Fund for London, marks a step change in how we donate to charity, harnessing the huge potential of contactless payments that now total into the millions.

By registering their contactless debit or credit card, Londoners can donate one penny, or more if they wish, every day they travel on London Underground, bus, tram, DLR, London Overground, and National Rail services that accept Oyster.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse, said:

“I am delighted to provide my support for this initiative. ‘Penny for London’ is a great way to give to a worthwhile cause without really spending much – just one penny every time you travel can go a long way to transform the lives of young Londoners.”

The Mayor of London has described the new scheme as “a big, bold idea that will revolutionise the way we give to charity”.

The system is powered by Barclaycard which has led the way in contactless technology since introducing it to the UK in 2007. Barclaycard played a key role helping Transport for London establish contactless payments across its transport network and has both funded and developed the innovative micro-donation back-office technology that makes Penny for London possible.

Contactless cardholders can opt-in via the Penny for London mobile site or website – www.pennyforlondon.com – and follow Penny for London on Twitter @Pennyforlondon. The official hashtag for social media is #Easy1Peasy.

TfL, which currently operates Europe’s largest single payments system, counted over 5 million contactless journeys in the first month that the facility was available on all London transport.

On average there are over 100,000 journeys made on rail per day and over 100,000 journeys on buses per day using contactless payments, demonstrating the huge potential ‘Penny for London’ has to improve the fortunes of young people in the capital.

Every penny donated by the public will be used by Penny for London to benefit young Londoners via the Mayor’s Fund for London charities and other not-for-profits.

If 100,000 people sign up to the scheme in 2015, Penny for London is set to raise over £1 million for good causes. If 1-in-10 Londoners register the amount donated every year could rise to over £15 million.

Many of London’s leading organisations have come together and donated time and expertise to help bring Penny for London to life, including the GLA, Hogan Lovell, London Evening Standard, Magic 105.4 and Kiss FM, M&C Saatchi, Reward Insight and Zone.

31 Oct


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Supporting digital skills for young people with Eastside Educational Trust

October 31, 2014 | By | No Comments

014 - EET

On Wednesday 29th October, I attended a parliamentary reception to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Eastside Educational Trust, a leading charity which has been working in our constituency to engage and educate school age children through direct participation in the arts.

Eastside runs a number of projects spanning all artistic disciplines, including the BFI Film Academy, but today’s event showcased the work of the students participating in the Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) programme, Adobe’s global initiative to increase digital creativity.

15 students from the youth centre Spotlight in my constituency of Limehouse and Poplar have benefited from advanced training in the use of digital media tools, access to creative practitioners, and mentoring to help them develop their creative skills.

I was able to hear first-hand from some of the young people involved in the project how Eastside has given them the opportunity to express themselves and develop the kind of digital skills they will need to live and work in the future.

It was a privilege to see them show off their new skills and talk about their work with such enthusiasm and confidence, and it shows the talent that can be harnessed through organisations like Eastside. And it was great to hear directly from young people what they view to be the greatest challenges in getting involved in the creative industries.

Since it was founded, Eastside has brought more than a quarter of a million young people into contact with the arts through its many projects and helped launch the creative careers of countless talented young Londoners. If you would like to find out more about the charity’s work with children and young people you can visit their website www.eastside.org.uk or please feel free to contact them directly on 020 7033 2380.

30 Oct


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Free chips! Dogs Trust

October 30, 2014 | By | No Comments


Jim Fitzpatrick MP supports launch of Dogs Trust Chip My Dog website at annual House of Commons Reception

P013 - Dogs Trust - Jim

Yesterday Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, showcased its chipmydog.org.uk website with the support of a host of MPs. The website is a unique “one-stop-shop” for all microchipping queries. Members of the public are now just a click away from a wealth of information on this important element of dog welfare, including:

  • Details of free microchipping activity across the UK via a quick and easy postcode search
  • Advice on how to update microchip details with a click-through function to UK databases
  • Guidance on the upcoming change of law in England and Wales
  • Advice on what to do if you have lost or found a dog
  • Frequently Asked Questions on all elements of microchipping

To mark the launch of the site, MPs were invited to take part in a photo opportunity which saw them manning a mocked up “chip van” which appears to offer free microchips to queues of dogs, and even a few fellow Parliamentarians!

Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“I am delighted to support Dogs Trust and help the charity launch its Chip My Dog website. I am supportive of the charity’s microchipping campaign and hope that the Scottish Government soon follows Westminster and Wales in announcing the introduction of compulsory microchipping for all dogs. Compulsory microchipping will make it easier to reunite lost dogs with their owners and cut unnecessary kennelling costs for Local Authorities. I urge my dog-owning constituents to get their canine companions microchipped and visit chipmydog.org.uk to find out more about this vital component of dog welfare”.

Clarissa Baldwin OBE, Dogs Trust CEO, says:

“Microchipping has been at the heart of Dogs Trust activities for a long time and we’re now looking forward to an exciting few years during which it will become compulsory in England, Wales and – we hope – Scotland. Chipmydog.org.uk will be the portal for all microchipping questions and we hope it will ensure that no dog is left unchipped when the laws change.”

“Whilst only the size of a grain of rice, a microchip can be a highly effective means of reuniting a lost dog with its owner. Results from our recent Stray Dog Survey showed that just over 10,000 dogs were returned to their owners for this exact reason. However, it is vital to update your details! Just as you would tell your bank you’ve moved house, so too should you inform your database. Sadly without up-to-date information a microchip on its own is redundant.”

To find out more about when the roaming Dogs Trust teams will be in your area or learn more about the benefits of microchipping visit www.chipmydog.org.uk.

28 Oct


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Anthony Nolan – more young lifesavers!

October 28, 2014 | By | No Comments


Poplar and Limehouse MP, Jim Fitzpatrick, is supporting a blood cancer charity’s campaign to find more teenage lifesavers.

Jim is backing Anthony Nolan’s ‘Save a Life At 16’ campaign in a bid to help the charity save the lives of more blood cancer patients.

The campaign sees the charity attempt to persuade HMRC to include details of the Anthony Nolan bone marrow donor register when it writes to young people with their National Insurance numbers in advance of their 16th birthdays.

The charity has pledged to cover all associated costs and hopes this would encourage more 16-year-olds to join the register. This is important as young people are more likely to be chosen as stem cell donors by transplant doctors.

The charity hopes that if young people are informed about the chance to save the lives of people with cancers such as leukaemia, many more will step forward to register, with an increase of up to 25 per cent in the number of young donors predicted.

Jim, who has written to HMRC and the Public Health Minister to ask them to support the plan, said

“I am delighted to provide my support to Anthony Nolan’s campaign to find more young lifesavers. The chances of receiving the best possible match if you are from a black, Asian or ethnic background currently stands at only 20 per cent. I believe this is a real opportunity for Government to work with Anthony Nolan not only to raise awareness of the need for more young people on the bone marrow donor register, but also to save the lives of people with blood cancer. Poplar and Limehouse currently ranks #248 on the donor register – lets change this!”

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “Every year in the UK around 2,000 people with blood cancer need stem cell donations from a stranger. We believe young people are passionate about helping others, but they also need to be well informed about the chances open to them.

“By agreeing to our proposal, the government can make it easier for people as young as 16 to become lifesavers.”

The news comes shortly after Anthony Nolan revealed that 867 in Poplar and Limehouse are on the bone marrow donor register.

27 Oct


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First World War funding for heritage projects available for communities

October 27, 2014 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick MP urges local Poplar and Limehouse communities to apply for National Lottery money available to mark the Centenary

On Wednesday 22nd October, Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse attended a House of Commons event hosted by TV historian Dan Snow, to find out how people from his constituency can secure Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) money to help them mark the Centenary of the First World War.

The event showcased just a handful of over 1000 First World War projects taking place across the UK, thanks to more than £60million of investment from HLF.

Grants of between £3,000 to £10,000 will continue to be available throughout the Centenary through HLF’s ‘First World War: then and now’ programme which is enabling people to explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage.  Groups that need a grant of more than £10,000 for a project can apply to HLF through its open programmes.

Projects on display showed the breadth and scale of First World War stories being explored and shared across the country:

  • in Coventry, young people have been researching the rise and decline of women’s football during and following the end of the War;
  • groups across Hertfordshire have uncovered the stories of those remembered on local war memorials across the county;
  • in Belfast a project has been exploring why Irish nationalists volunteered to fight for the British army during the conflict; and
  • a stone memorial has been created in Derby to recognise the contribution of the very many Sikhs who served in the war

Jim Fitzpatrick MP, said: “The projects and stories I’ve seen here today have been an inspiration.  It’s so important that we remember the impact of this war one hundred years on. There is still time to apply for money and I would urge anyone in my constituency with an idea for their own project to get in touch with HLF.”

Carole Souter, Chief Executive of HLF, said: “It’s been wonderful to see so many communities take up this opportunity to explore how the First World War affected their local area. So many interesting and unexpected stories have been uncovered, helping us to develop a rich and long-lasting picture of how this momentous conflict touched and shaped every corner of the UK.”

The event also saw the launch of Historypin’s First World War Centenary hub. The hub is a free online space where people right across the UK can share all the historical and contemporary photographs, films and audios clips that have been collected while marking the Centenary of the First World War.  It has been developed in partnership with HLF, Jisc, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Imperial War Museums.

More information on how to apply for HLF funding is available at www.hlf.org.uk

27 Oct


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Sreepur Village Orphanage Fundraiser

October 27, 2014 | By | No Comments

sreepur dinner

On Saturday 25 October, the Sreepur Village Orphanage held a fundraising dinner to celebrate its 25th anniversary at the Sonargaon Restaurant.

The Sreepur Village Orphanage is a wonderful charitable organisation both Sheila and I have been supporting for a number of years.

Our involvement with Sreepur Village as patron and trustee includes our visits to Sreepur to see and assist in Sreepur Village’s work with women and children in Bangladesh first hand. We have also hosted our own events at the House of Commons in support of the charity, raising funds as well as Sreepur’s profile.

Sreepur’s ‘Shishu Polli’ is often the first place each woman residing in the village wakes up knowing that she will be safe, will receive nutritious meals and will have the company and friendship of other women in similar circumstances.

Sreepur’s work also extends to the victims of the Rana Plaza building collapse with help provided to women and children affected by the tragedy. We have since supported the education of 139 children living with foster and extended families as a result of the collapse.

Without the work of Sreepur, many destitute mothers and their children in Bangladesh would have little or no means of surviving.

Overall, the dinner was a fantastic success, with funding raised for Sreepur via a number of means including a raffle and auction which I was delighted to host. We were also lucky enough to receive our entertainment for the night courtesy of Cllr Rajib Ahmed and Doros Ullah who performed traditional Bangla songs.

Thank you to everyone who attended!

17 Oct


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‘wear it pink’ day

October 17, 2014 | By | No Comments

wear it pink Jim Fitzpatrick 2

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse has joined the fight against breast cancer by taking part in Breast Cancer Campaign’s flagship fundraiser, wear it pink day.

The theme of wear it pink this year is to ‘look good, do good’ in support of breast cancer research. On Friday 24 October people across the country will come together to find fun and stylish ways to wear pink in the office, at home or at school. Donations raised by this year’s fashion inspired event will go to Breast Cancer Campaign to fund lifesaving breast cancer research.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP says “Every year in the UK around 50,000 women and 400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly, 12,000 women and 80 men die from this disease each year. This is why we need to support Breast Cancer Campaign’s fundraising efforts to support world-class breast cancer research that saves and improves lives, giving people quicker diagnoses and more effective treatments. I hope you’ll all join me by wearing it pink on Friday 24 October and showing your support for breast cancer research.”

wear it pink on Friday 24 October to support Breast Cancer Campaign’s lifesaving research. For more information or to register for wear it pink and receive your fundraising pack visit www.wearitpink.org.

15 Sep


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Mencap’s ‘Hear my voice’ campaign

September 15, 2014 | By | No Comments

Myself with Aaron, a Mencap Young Ambassador

Myself with Aaron, a Mencap Young Ambassador


I was delighted to attend the launch of Mencap’s Hear my voice campaign in the House of Commons last week. The new campaign is about empowering people with a learning disability and their families to make sure their voices are heard by their local MPs and candidates in the lead up to the May 2015 General Election.

People with a learning disability and their families are as much a part of our society as anyone else and deserve to have their voices heard on the issues that matter to them. I am listening and I hope that many more MPs and potential candidates will do the same by getting on board with Mencap’s Hear my voice campaign.

23 Jun


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Waiting to Benefit

June 23, 2014 | By | No Comments

Macmillan PIP Seminar

Last week I attended the launch of Macmillan Cancer Support’s new research report, Waiting to Benefit, into disability benefit Personal Independence Payment (PIP). It is a great shame many who are diagnosed with cancer have to wait a considerable amount of time before they start receiving disability benefit. I am supporting Macmillan and intend to raise this issue with the Minister for Disabled People until the matter is resolved.

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