With Christmas not far away I am reminded of those less fortunate than ourselves, many of whom rely on charities to support them in their everyday lives. Many charities are looking for extra volunteers over the festive period and for those looking for opportunities, The Royston and District Volunteer Centre based in the constituency is an excellent place to start. The Centre which has been running since 1995 performs an invaluable function matching up organisations requiring help, with those willing to provide it. I applaud the efforts of this organisation and encourage interested constituents to visit its website to see what volunteering opportunities are available.
I have just had a meeting at the House of Commons with Angela Rippon who is a strong supporter of Carers’ Week. It was good to talk to Angela about all the work that is being done to recognise the role of carers. Society often takes for granted the huge contribution which individuals make looking after a loved one, without any adequate financial recognition. I saw this most starkly when the Select Committee on Work and Pensions was taking evidence for its landmark Report on Carers a couple of years ago. So many people gave evidence to us showing how even the smallest respite meant a great deal. It was also interesting to learn that in Australia instant respite is available through their carers’ centres.
I hope that Angela Rippon’s involvement with Carers’ Week will raise its profile even further and it was good to be part of this.
Today was the Westminster Mile for Sport Relief and I was delighted to take part. I was never going to be the winner, but that wasn’t really the point afterall. Sport Relief is a great charity and I would urge all constituents to get involved with the many runs that are taking place this year. If you want to see more on this, why not check out my video below.
Getting ready for my up-and-coming Westminster Mile this Wednesday, when MPs gather to run 1 mile round St James’ Park in aid of Sport Relief, I went for a training run with Letchworth’s super-fundraiser Richard Kell through Manor Wood in Letchworth. Richard’s ambitions are far higher – to raise £1 million in a year for Help for Heroes by running 12 marathons and other daring feats. Next weekend Richard is running the equivalent of 4 marathons between 4 Football league grounds – all in 24 hours. He will start at Peterborough United’s London Road ground at 3pm on Friday and hopes to arrive at Watford’s ground in time to watch the fixture between POSH and the Hornets on Saturday afternoon. It was a pleasure to join Richard’s training run and I wish him the very best of luck in his year of fund-raising efforts for such a worthy cause.