This week the Department for Culture, Media and Sport published information about its #LightsOut campaign. The campaign is about encouraging people to turn off their lights for an hour between 10pm and 11pm on Monday 4 August in recognition of the 100 year anniversary of the First World War. I understand that many local authorities, national organisations and landmarks are planning to take part in the initiative. According to the DCMS press release, #LightsOut has been inspired by Sir Edward Grey’s famous remark on the eve of the outbreak of the War “the lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not seem them lit again in our lifetime.” Support for the campaign can also be demonstrated by signing up to the DCMS Thunderclap which is an online platform which will send an automatic message of support to people via Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr at 10am on 4 August. With its 100 year anniversary, it is extremely important that we remember the First World War and those that sacrificed so much fighting in it. I encourage my constituents to take part in the campaign and sign up to the Thunderclap.
This week I received information about the lottery funded “Heroes Return 2” scheme which provides grants to WW2 veterans and their widows from the UK, Channel Islands and Republic of Ireland to help with travel and accommodation costs so that they can return with their spouse or carer to the places where they served during the War. These grants range between £165 to £8,140 and also cover trips to the UK for a commemorative visit. So far, Heroes Return 2 has awarded over £28 million to more than 57,000 veterans. I think this is an excellent scheme and I encourage WW2 veterans in my constituency to take advantage of it. More details about the programme can be found here or by calling the Heroes Return helpline on 0845 0000121.