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04 Nov


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Jim Fitzpatrick hails West Ham United’s charitable work

November 4, 2015 | By | No Comments

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Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, was present this week at a Parliamentary reception arranged to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the West Ham United Foundation, the charitable arm of the Premier League football club.

Mr Fitzpatrick has supported West Ham since coming to London in 1973 and is one of the most prominent Hammers fans in the House of Commons. He is a strong supporter of the work that the West Ham United Foundation does throughout East London, including with charities, schools and community groups in Poplar.

Among the attendees was Joan Hart, Head Teacher of Our Lady & St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, which hosts regular summer school events arranged by the West Ham United Foundation for local children in the Poplar area.

Speaking after the event, Jim Fitzpatrick said:

“One of the reasons I’ve always been proud to be a West Ham fan is that it remains a club very much rooted in its local community, and run by two chairmen who grew up in East London.

“The West Ham United Foundation is the way the club gives something back to that local community, and ensures that the people of East London, including my constituents in Poplar, can share in the benefits of having a Premier League football club on their doorstep.

“I was very glad to give my support to this event, and I look forward to the Foundation continuing its brilliant work for decades to come.”

Among the attendees at the event, held on Monday 2nd November, were the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon John Whittingdale, who expressed his support for the Foundation and wished it well for the expansion of its work that will accompany West Ham’s move to the club’s new Stadium in Stratford next year.

Also present were several other MPs, local councillors, the Premier League’s Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore, West Ham’s Joint-Chairman David Gold, as well as representatives of dozens of bodies who have received support from the Foundation over recent years.

The assembled gathering heard from the Chief Executive of the Foundation, Joe Lyons, who introduced them to four young people from the East London and Essex area whose lives have been transformed as a result of the Foundation’s work.

“Over the next decade”, Lyons said, “we will work tirelessly to create more of these stories.

“Today, we are outlining our new 10 year strategy which redefines our vision. We want to be a truly inclusive organisation offering a range of programmes that provide positive experiences to all.”

He set out the Foundation’s priorities and goals for the next decade, including expanding its work across all of East London and Essex, establishing international programmes, creating pathways to education and work for young people in the region, and using sport as a motivator for social change.

In the past 25 years, West Ham’s Foundation has provided support and opportunities to 1.5 million young people and adults in local communities in the region, but it plans to reach a further 1 million people in the next 10 years alone.

West Ham Vice-Chairman Karren Brady, who has masterminded the expansion of the Foundation’s work since arriving at the Club in 2010, explained to the reception why the West Ham board believe it is so important to support the Club’s local communities.

“When my two Chairmen, David Sullivan and David Gold, and I began our work at West Ham”, she said, “one of our first priorities was to expand the work the Club had been doing to create better futures for local people.

“My Chairmen both originated from the area and…with their passion for giving something back to their local community and my determination to use sport to better the lives of its people, it quickly became something that was incredibly important to all three of us.

“We made sure the Foundation became the hub to deliver the Club’s vision for outreach, benefitting the charities we feel most passionate about and most importantly giving brighter futures for the most deprived people in our community.

“We now have some remarkable stories to tell of the lives we’ve changed and an exciting, ambitious vision for the future, as we prepare to take up residence in our new home.”

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore also hailed the achievements of the Foundation in his speech.

“In terms of West Ham”, he said, “some of their schemes are leading the way among all clubs, including the work they do with schools: 35 different schools being touched by West Ham’s Foundation; 3,000 young people in a year being influenced just by one club.

“The Kicks programme has been taken on by the West Ham Foundation probably better than any other Club; it is currently working in 24 sites within east London, with a huge impact in terms of reducing anti-social crime.

“That’s the power of football. That’s the power of the West Ham badge, that’s the power of the Foundation. There a lots of other clubs doing the same, but I don’t think there’s any single club that does it to the depth and breadth, and with the real commitment that West Ham do it.”

The event ended with MPs presenting the Foundation with a special birthday card signed by all those in attendance. The message inside read: “Congratulations on 25 years of life-changing community work and long may it continue in your new home.”

01 Dec


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December 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

029 Giving Tuesday

With Sharon Auger from State Street Bank

MP urges people to do one good thing for charity on #GivingTuesday

Jim Fitzpatrick MP has encouraged constituency charities and businesses to take part in the international campaign asking people to give their time, money or voice to charity on one day.

#GivingTuesday takes place for the first time in the UK on the 2 December and is gathering momentum with over 500 businesses and charities joining the other 10,000 partner organisations in the global movement.

The campaign in the UK is being led by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), working closely with software provider Blackbaud.  There are 42 founding partners including Facebook, Argos, Homebase, Glamour, Thomson Reuters, PwC, Cancer Research UK, the RSPCA, Breast Cancer Care, Marie Curie Cancer Care, the RNIB, the NSPCC, The Cabinet Office, the National Union of Students and JustGiving.

#GivingTuesday comes directly after the big shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and asks people and organisations to do one simple charitable act on the day in the run up to Christmas.  While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are good for the economy and great for getting deals, #GivingTuesday is the chance to give something back.

The campaign was launched in the US in 2012 and has become a global movement with Canada, Mexico, Israel, Australia, Singapore and Latin America all getting on board in 2013.  Last year #GivingTuesday received support from the White House, actor Kevin Bacon and model Heidi Klum and charities saw a huge spike in donations on the day.

Partner organisations are encouraged to take the campaign and do something of their own with it.  For example, an ice cream parlour in Baltimore created its very own #GivingTuesday ice cream and gave the proceeds made from sales to a local charity.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse said:

“#GivingTuesday is an exciting opportunity for charities, businesses and individuals to shine a light on the causes they care about and encourage more people to get involved with giving.”

“People in Poplar and Limehouse are enormously generous and support more causes that I can list.  It would be great if people can get behind this new way to talk about the fantastic causes we all care about.”

“I am proud to support #GivingTuesday and look forward to celebrating the generosity of my constituents and the great work done by our local charities.”

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 people across the country including some brilliant charities and businesses.”

“We are delighted by the support we have received so far and want to encourage as many businesses, charities and individuals to take up #GivingTuesday and really run with it.  We are already hearing so many creative and inspiring ideas and hope we can get the whole nation thinking about charity at the start of the festive season.”

More information can be found on the #GivingTuesday website including a full list of partners.  To find out more email givingtuesday@cafonline.org or follow the campaign on Twitter.


21 Nov


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Road Safety Week

November 21, 2014 | By | No Comments

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP backs national Road Safety Week campaign urging road users to look out for each other to save lives

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, is backing a national campaign launched on Monday by road safety charity Brake, calling on road users to look out for each other to help stop the five deaths and 61 serious injuries that happen every day on UK roads and particularly to protect people on foot and bike.

The call comes at the start of Road Safety Week, coordinated by Brake, during which thousands of schools, employers and community groups will be raising awareness about road safety, and police across the country will be stepping up traffic enforcement to deter and catch drivers putting others at risk.

The look out for each other campaign is all about everyone, especially drivers, showing patience, consideration and responsibility towards other road users, especially the most vulnerable. To help avoid tragedy, Brake is particularly urging drivers to protect people on foot and bike by slowing down to 20mph in communities, looking longer and taking it slow at junctions and bends, and giving people plenty of room. People on foot and bike are also being encouraged not to take chances, and make sure they can be seen.

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, said: “It is unacceptable that five people die and 61 are seriously injured on UK roads every day. This is why I am glad to be supporting Road Safety Week, road safety is an important issue which needs more awareness. I myself have attended a number of Parliamentary receptions on this issue including Brake’s drop-in session for MPs in the Commons earlier this week. I have also signed EDM 462 in support of Road Safety Week and Brake’s ‘look out for each other’ campaign encouraging road users to look out for each other, acknowledging that roads are shared spaces which require mutual tolerance and respect. Thankfully, no postcodes in Poplar and Limehouse are included in the national top 10 postcodes for careless driving offences; however, it is still important to raise awareness of road safety and what better way to do this than supporting this Week.”

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: “When drivers use roads without care for others the consequences can be tragic and horrific – people killed and badly injured, lives ruined forever, because of a moment of impatience or selfishness. At Brake we witness the suffering that results, daily, through our work supporting people affected by road death and injury. And there are wider consequences if we don’t look out for each other on roads – people afraid to walk and cycle or let their kids walk and cycle, and unable to get out and enjoy their community and live active lifestyles. That’s why, instead of making our streets stressful, risky places, we’re asking all road users to look out for and protect each other, particularly the most vulnerable – that means drivers sticking to 20 or below in towns and villages, looking carefully at junctions, and being considerate. Ultimately, we’re all just human beings trying to get around, with equal right to use the roads, not competing tribes.”

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

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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

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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!

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