, , ,

Darren backs unpaid carers

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has backed local unpaid carers by advocating that ‘carers need care too’.

The Carers Support Centre Bristol and South Gloucestershire asked a sample of unpaid carers to share their experiences of arranging short breaks and what improvements could be made to the service.

  • 58% of carers have been caring for someone for over 10 years
  • 63% of carers felt improvements needed to be made to the short breaks service.
  • The top reason for needing a break was exhaustion with the second being changes in physical and/or mental health of the carer.
  • The top barrier to taking a break was expense (20% have to employ a carer and 39% have to rely on friends and family) with the second being an appropriate care service wasn’t available.

Darren said:

“The government must fund local authority’s properly so they can increase the funds available to support our carers – there must be consistent access to sitting services, day care and residential care that enables carers to take the breaks they need to maintain their own lives and health and wellbeing.

I’ll be hosting a carers-focussed surgery in January, with support from the Carers Support Centre, to help raise awareness of the challenges carers face and help where I can”.

More information on support for carers is available from: https://www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk/

,

Darren asks experts whether social media and screens harm children

Darren was present at the Science and Technology committee’s third evidence session for its Social media and screens-use inquiry. Here, charities, learned societies and academics were asked about cyber-bullying, addiction and body image.

The first set of witnesses was Anna Clark, Cardinus Risk Management, Dr Vicky Goodyear, Lecturer in Pedagogy in Sport, Physical Activity and Health, University of Birmingham, Dr Heather Woods, Lecturer, School of Psychology, University of Glasgow, Dr Max Davie, Officer for Health Promotion and Mental Health Lead, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and Professor Peter Fonagy, National Clinical Adviser on children and young people’s mental health, NHS England.

Darren asked them how we could verify children’s age for online purposes, given that many children do not own what makes this possible for adults (e.g. credit cards).

The second of witnesses was Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive, Internet Watch Foundation David Austin, CEO, British Board of Film Classification Emily Cherry, Assistant Director of Policy & Public Affairs, Barnardo’s.

Darren asked them whether the evidence base existed to prove the harm of screens and social media.

, , , , , , , , , ,

Darren to host family-themed Picnic Politics

Darren Jones MP is hosting a family-themed ‘picnic politics’ at Blaise Castle on Friday 31st August. If you would like to share your experiences of accessing childcare, school places, support for children with SEND and the challenges of being a modern working parent please stop-by.

Bring a picnic (and the kids!) and join Darren by the grassed area next to the play area and café from 1.30 -3.30. Well-behaved dogs on a lead are also welcome.

Darren said:

“I want to hear from local parents about their experiences – I know from being a new parent myself that being a modern parent is both rewarding and challenging – I want to know what’s working well for local families and what isn’t. Join me on Friday 31st to share your feedback in an informal setting’.

 

 

, , , , , ,

Darren urges council to re-think Blaise parking charges

Hundreds of constituents have contacted Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, about the council’s consultation on charging a flat-rate of £2 for parking at Blaise Castle Estate and restricting parking on adjacent roads. The full proposals are available here.

Darren said:

“MPs can’t directly intervene in the council’s decision-making processes but we can ensure our constituents voice is heard – that’s why I have written to the parks team today summarising the feedback received. I continue to urge all users of Blaise Castle and local residents to respond to the council’s consultation. The consultation is open for comment until 30th July”.

 

 

, , ,

Darren meets Bristol North West NHS70 Award Winner

To mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, the Prime Minister awarded just seven volunteers for their outstanding health and social care achievements – Bristol North West resident Gillian was one of these seven award winners. Gillian has volunteered with families of children in Bristol Royal Hospital for Children over the last 31 years.

Gillian leads the ‘Friends for Parents’ a volunteer initiative at the hospital. The service provides everything parents might need while their children are in hospital – from delivering toiletry packs, to running errands for parents who do not want to leave their children’s bedsides, there is no job too big or small for Gillian and her team – that is why she is the 949th Point of Light (a cross-party award scheme).

Darren said after the visit:

” I would like to formally congratulate Gillian on being chosen as one of the NHS70 Point of Light award winners. Gillian’s fantastic work has inspired hospitals across the world to adopt the successful ‘Friends for Parents’ model, including institutions in Malta and Africa. Long may Gillian continue to provide this much needed service, and act a role model, to so many. I speak on behalf of all of Bristol North West – and indeed Bristol – when I say thank you Gillian”.

You can follow Darren’s work on health here.

, , , ,

Darren opens school’s new woodland

As part of his mission to visit every school in Bristol North West, Darren Jones MP recently visited Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School in Lawrence Weston to open their new woodland – named the St Francis Woodland. Year 5 students were asked to plan where, working with the Woodland Trust, 420 new tree saplings would be planted. Then, with the help of many parents, each child in the school was able to plant two saplings. The children (and adults) really enjoyed the experience especially when worms were discovered!

Darren said after the visit:

” This is the first time I have been asked to open a new school woodland – I feel privileged as it is vital that children and young people learn about the natural environment and how to use, protect and enjoy it. I hope the new woodland thrives and this is the first of many planned in local schools”.

You can follow Darren’s work on education here.

, , , ,

Darren meets Pickles!

On Friday 6th July, Darren joined local residents, Greenway Centre staff and Southmead Councillors Helen Godwin and Brenda Massey in meeting a new addition to the Greenway Café- Pickles McPrickles the Gromit.

Darren said after the visit:

“It was fantastic to see Pickles so at home at the Greenway Centre in Southmead and all in aid of Gromit Unleashed – a truly wonderful Bristol charity that benefits families right across our city. Visit Pickles, enjoy a snack in the café, seek out the other Bristol North West Gromit at Blaise Castle and be sure to donate to this great cause!”

 

 

, , ,

Darren signs food insecurity letter

Food insecurity is a widespread problem in the UK, with the Trussell Trust alone seeing a million people at its food banks a year. However, there are no statistics on exactly how many people are struggling for food for how long. To tackle the problem we need to know how widespread it is, so Darren signed a letter to the Government asking them to begin measuring food insecurity.

 

 

,

Darren asks experts about the dangers of Energy Drinks

The Science and Technology Committee are currently holding an inquiry into energy drinks. They are looking at the effect of these drinks on health, particularly of young people and children.

Darren asked a mixture of industry representatives and regulators about the advertisement of these drinks.

He firstly asked about the effect of caffeine, which is included in many energy drinks, on young people.

He then asked about how children are defined for the purposes of energy drink advertising, whether children are targeted for energy drink advertising and whether energy drinks should carry warnings.

Darren writes to Government on Deaf Children cuts

Deaf Children rely on public services to learn to communicate and support them at school. These services are already at breaking point, and are going to be cut by £4 million. Darren wrote to the Government minister responsible for these services to ask that he meet with the National Deaf Children’s Society to discuss the impact of these cuts.