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Darren supports Time to Talk campaign

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, showed his support for the national Time to Talk mental health campaign on Time to Talk Day on 7th February.

Darren Jones MP said:

“Today is Time to Talk Day, a chance for us all to think about how we can start honest conversations about mental health.

Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 of us, so I’ll be reflecting on how I can be more open about mental health, talk to others and break down stigma. Time to Change is a growing social movement run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. They’re working to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems. Since they’ve been running they’ve reached millions of people and changed attitudes and behaviour. But there’s still more to be done – that’s why I will continue to call for more accessible, high-quality and responsive mental health care and support wherever I can”.

You can find out more about local events and the Time to Talk campaign here.

 

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Darren congratulates local Primary Schools

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, congratulated local primary schools who have seen an increase in their students meeting Key Stage Two levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Darren has wrote to each primary school in Bristol North West who saw an increase but made special mention of three schools who had seen exceptional progress.

Darren Jones MP said:

” Despite the huge pressure and budget cuts to primary education, many of the primary schools here in Bristol North West saw an increase to their Key Stage Two results. That’s down to the dedication of school staff, governors and their pupils working against the odds to make sure students get the best chance to succeed.

Three of our local schools – Oasis Academy Long Cross, Blaise Primary School and Filton Avenue Primary School saw their results in reading, writing and mathematics jump by a massive 25% or more!

Well done to each school in Bristol North West who saw an increase in their results – I know these are hugely challenging times for teachers and their colleagues so I won’t stop calling for education to get the funding it needs so every child gets the best possible start in life”.

You can follow Darren’s work on Education here.

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Darren backs Safer Internet Day

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, showed his support for the global Safer Internet Day campaign on 5th February.

Darren Jones MP said:

“Today is Safer Internet Day. The aim of Safer Internet Day is to inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively – a subject that many of you will know is very close to my heart. With debate about the role of digital technology and social media never far from the headlines, Safer Internet Day is a great chance to bring together communities, educators, companies and governments to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people across the UK.

Debate on social media and online can often get strained and less than pleasant, especially given the divisions across society at present. I urge people to consider that technology can be beneficial if we keep our dialogue kind – there is another person the other side of that screen. Anyone who feels threatened or harassed online should report their concerns to the social media platform or website immediately”.

There are plenty of resources available for schools and parents.

    

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Darren takes on Fizz Free February

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has pledged to give up fizzy drinks for 28 days to raise awareness of Fizz Free February.

Darren Jones MP said:

“I’m joining Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson, and Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth, in giving up fizzy drinks for February. Will you join me? You can pledge to go Fizz Free here.

I’m giving up all things fizzy to help highlight the negative effects of consuming sugary drinks. The thinking is that if we can give up fizzy drinks for 28 days, it’ll help us cut down throughout the year.

#FizzFreeFebruary is part Tom Watson’s, Southwark Council’s and Sugar Smart‘s campaign to help tackle the UK’s obesity crisis – cutting out fizzy drinks is an easy way to reduce sugar intake, save money and keep your teeth!

It’s frightening to hear that, fizzy drinks are the largest single source of sugar for children aged 11-18, and they provide an average of 29% of daily sugar intake.

Following a 2018 inquiry by the Science and Tech Committee, that I’m a member of, I’ve also been calling on the government to ban the sale of sugary, caffeine-filled energy drinks to under 16’s.

In Bristol, 56% of adults and 34% of children in year six are overweight or obese and 23% of children aged five have at least one decayed, missing or filled tooth. As ever Bristol is leading the way in tackling this matter head-on, Bristol was one of the first places to become a Sugar Smart City in 2017 and our Mayor is backing Fizz Free Feb. It has been particularly great to hear that a number of businesses in Southmead have been leading the way by promoting free water refills and reducing the number of fizzy drinks sold.

However, there’s much more to do and a ban on the sale of energy drinks to under 16’s will only help raise awareness of the dangers of consuming these drinks on a regular basis” .

Why go Fizz Free?

•you can save £438 a year if you stopped drinking one bottle of soft drink, per day, for a year
•drinking just one 330ml can of fizzy drink a day could add up to over a stone weight gain per year
•tooth decay is the leading cause for hospitalisation among five to nine year olds in the UK

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Darren highlights financial plight of nursery schools

In a debate on Maintained Nursery Schools in the House of Commons, Darren highlighted both the funding pressures they are under and the positive impacts they can have, concluding that there is a need to fund Maintained Nursery Schools.

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Darren asks for £1bn for nurse training

Cuts to nursing bursaries are resulting in negative outcomes for student nurses and patients who rely on there being sufficient staffing. Darren wrote to the Health Secretary to ask him to fund nurse training properly.
No photo description available.

 

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Darren demands action on state nursery schools funding

Darren sent a previous letter to the Government on this issue. This received a reply to which Bristol’s Head of Children’s Services
said ‘many nursery schools will not be able to wait’ as suggested by the Government. This prompted Darren wrote to the Government to demand action.
No photo description available.

 

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Darren calls for constituents to support library consultation

Get involved! Dates for your diary:

Labour-run Bristol City Council saved all of the city’s libraries from closure last year but, given the continued decline in government funding, they need our help to look at innovative ways of running the service in the future.

The council are hosting 4 events in Bristol North West to cover the libraries in our patch:

* Greenway Centre, Doncaster Road to talk about Southmead, Westbury, Henleaze, Horfield and Lockleaze libraries on: Wednesday 6 March 10 am to 12 pm or
Saturday 9 March 10 am to 12 pm.

* Shirehampton Public Hall,
Station Road to talk about Henbury, Shirehampton, Avonmouth and Sea Mills libraries on Monday 11 March 7pm to 9pm or Wednesday 13 March 10am to 12pm.

Spaces at these events must be booked in advance online. Reserve a space and find out more about the ideas gathering on:

www.bristol.gov.uk/libraryideas

 

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Darren visits Shirehampton School

As part of his mission to visit every school in Bristol North West, Darren Jones MP has visited St Bernard’s Catholic Primary School in Shirehampton for a festive assembly.

Darren said after the visit:

“On 15th December, I visited St Bernard’s Catholic Primary School in Shirehampton to take part in their festive assembly. I always enjoy visiting schools, meeting students and staff and hopefully inspiring the next generation to participate in democracy and politics. It’s heart-warming and inspiring to hear of the huge range of ambitions and plans that our young people have.

Education can’t be done on the cheap and schools must have the funding they need to enable all students to meet their potential. I am proud to show my support today – and every day – to end the short-sighted and cruel government cuts to education”.

You can follow Darren’s work on education here.

 

 

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Darren backs Royal College of Nursing

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West has spoken about his continued support for nurses in higher education.

Darren said:

“I’m continuing to support the Royal College of Nursing‘s campaign calling on the government to put a minimum of £1bn back into nursing higher education.

Nursing students are unique. Their courses are longer than other degrees and, on top of their studies, they spend additional time on clinical placement working all hours of the day and night.

Many nursing students are struggling financially because they don’t have time to work to support themselves. It’s causing some students to quit their courses.

It’s no surprise then that since the changes to nursing degree funding in 2016, there are nearly 900 fewer nurses due to start at university.

The Government must fix this. It must look again at how it funds nursing higher education, including by putting a minimum of £1bn a year back into the system to support students.

There are already almost 41,000 nursing vacancies in England alone. Without action now this could rise to at least 48,000 in the next five years, because there won’t be enough newly qualified nurses to address this shortfall.

In a speech at the RCN on 31st October 2018 the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care acknowledged the significant gap in the nursing workforce and recognised action is needed. He said, “simply put: we need more (nurses). And that means more permanent nurses”. He also said that (nursing students) “must get the support they need to complete their training so they can serve in our NHS”. Yet the government have done nothing to change the current situation!

I continue to call upon the government to #FundOurFuture nurses”.

You can get involved, and support the campaign, here: https://www.rcn.org.uk/…/ca…/student-funding-fund-our-future