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Darren attends first-ever Autism Awareness session for MPs

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, has attended the first-ever Autism Awareness session, run by the National Autistic Society, held for MPs on 1st May.

Darren said:

“Approximately 700,000 people in the United Kingdom are autistic, and with 2019 marking ten years of the Autism Act, it is an opportune time to learn more. From discussion with adults and parents of young people with autism, there is a fairly wide range of autistic experiences and in order for me to better support my constituents who have autism, MPs need to understand how it affects people”.

The aim of these Understanding Autism sessions is to improve awareness and understanding of autism, so that MPs can better champion the issues that matter to autistic people in their local area as well as in Parliament. Darren is also working with Bristol Autistic Spectrum Services to host an autism-focused surgery in May.

 

 

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Darren to host Autism-focused surgery

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, will be hosting an autism-themed surgery with help from Bristol Autism Spectrum Services (BASS) on Friday 24th May.

Please note – as of 2nd May – this surgery is now fully booked. Another will be held later in the year.

Appointments will be available from 10.30am – 12.45pm. To book an appointment you must live in Bristol North West or be supporting a constituent as their formal advocate (if that’s the case, the constituent should also be in attendance). You can check if you’re represented by Darren by visiting: www.theyworkforyou.com/

These 30-minute private appointments could be used to discuss personal concerns that you are seeking Darren’s help/support with (for example, you or your child are struggling to get specific help) or you may want to share more general experiences that you feel Darren should be aware of (for example, how difficult it can be for you to access the community or services).

It could also be that you (or a family member/partner) want to lobby Darren on a policy issue related to autism for example, carers allowance, access to mental health services, SEN support or therapies.

Places are limited so please do get in touch with BASS by calling 01275 796 204 or emailing: awp.bassbristolas@nhs.net and providing your name, address, contact telephone number and a short summary of the issue you would like to discuss.

Once your appointment is confirmed, BASS will send you a time and the exact location of the appointment, which will be held in the Southmead area.

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Darren congratulates Lockleaze and Manor Farm volunteers

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has congratulated two local volunteers who were recently awarded the Lord Mayor’s Medal for their commitment to volunteering in Lockleaze and at Manor Farm Boy’s Club.

Darren said:

“ It’s fantastic to see two local volunteers recently awarded a medal by the Lord Mayor for their hard work. Well done to Vicky for her contribution to Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust and to Rob for his efforts at Manor Farm Boys Club. I am genuinely pleased to see both of these Bristol North West volunteers recognised for their dedication and tireless energy”.

 

 

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Darren welcomes Avonmouth Station grant

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has welcomed news of a £13,930 grant from Great Western Railway to Avonmouth Station.

Darren said:

“It is great news that five community projects in Bristol have been awarded over £70,000 funding for improvement schemes by Great Western Railway. Avonmouth Station Community Food Growing & Learning Space has been awarded £13,930 to develop the existing garden space at Avonmouth station to become a fully operational community food growing and learning space, overseen by Incredible Edible Bristol who are working with Feeding Bristol CIO and Bristol City Council towards a ‘Zero Hunger Bristol’.

It’s wonderful to hear that produce from the garden will be shared with the local community via Avonmouth Community Centre’s free/subsidised Lunch Club, the North Bristol Foodbank and the Bristol Jam Plan which serves homeless shelters. These local organisations work incredibly hard and their services are in great demand – anything that helps gets healthy food to vulnerable residents is to be welcomed. Well done to all involved“.

To follow Darren’s work on Transport click here. 

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Darren’s features in Sea Mills Newsletter

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones,  featured in April’s Sea Mills Community Initiatives Newsletter following his recent visit to the community garden.

You can get involved in the Sea Mills 100 celebrations or find out more about the community garden by using the details listed below or going along to one of the upcoming events. Darren hopes to attend  the Heritage Trails on 8th June before visiting Goram Fayre at Blaise Castle.

 

 

 

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Darren’s column in Henbury and Brentry News

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones,  has published his latest column in Henbury and Brentry News. The column covers Darren’s work on:

 

 

 

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Darren praises Bristol Charity and calls for action on Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Darren spoke on the need for interventions to help prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences. He also praised the work of the Southmead Project in this area.

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Darren backs International Women’s Day

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, supported International Women’s Day 2019 on 8th March by attending a Q and A panel organised by KMPG and attended by over a hundred women from across the city. After the event, Darren also met the mayor to view the council’s new (and free to visit!) exhibition of portraits of women from across the city.

Darren said:

“It was g‪reat to join KPMG in Bristol yesterday with Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and Deputy Mayor and community champion Councillor Asher Craig to discuss #balanceforbetter on #IWD2019 yesterday. My hobby horses of free childcare, smashing the mummy track, business culture change and productivity through equality came up. The new exhibition of portraits of Bristolian Women from across our fantastic city was also great to see”.

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Darren attends Library consultation in Southmead

Labour-run Bristol City Council saved all of the city’s libraries from closure in 2018 but, given the continued decline in government funding, they have asked for our help to look at innovative ways of running the service in the future. Along with constituents, Darren attended an event at the Greenway Centre in early March to talk about ideas to support Southmead, Westbury, Henleaze, Horfield and Lockleaze libraries.

Darren said:

“There were lots of great ideas about modernising our libraries across Bristol North West at the Greenway Centre with Bristol City Council. There are so many exciting opportunities for creating digital, community hubs as a central point of information, gathering and books! I am pleased to see the council thinking ‘outside the box’ and will do what I can to support this process”.

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You can find out more about the ideas gathering on: www.bristol.gov.uk/libraryideas

 

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Darren comments on Childcare Survey and backs childcare improvements.

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones, has commented on the release of the2019 Childcare Survey from Coram Family and Childcare. This follows Darren’s recent Westminster Hall debate where he called for fully-funded state childcare.

Darren said:

“I know families are struggling – that’s one of the reasons I recently called for fully-funded state childcare. Yesterday (28th February 2019), Coram Family and Childcare released their Childcare Survey 2019.

The headline results show: 
• The average price for 25 hours per week of nursery childcare for a child under two is £127, a rise of 3 per cent since 2018.
• In 94 per cent of local authorities, the maximum limit per child under Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit of £175 per week does not cover the average cost of full time childcare for a child under two.
• 57% of local authorities in England have enough childcare for parents working full time.
• Less than one in four local authorities have enough childcare available for children needing after school care, parents working outside normal office hours, or disabled children.

I support calls for the government to reform the childcare system, to make it simpler for parents, encourage improvements in quality and make sure parents aren’t forced to give up work or drastically reduce their hours (unless they want to) because of the price of childcare – if we want true gender equality in the workplace and to ensure all kids get the best start in life, we must improve childcare provision.

In the short-term Coram are also asking that the government:
• Increase the maximum amount of childcare costs that are supported by Universal Credit in order to make sure parents are better off for every extra hour worked, and switch to upfront payments so that parents can afford to move into work.
• Provide start up grants and responsive funding for childcare providers to increase the availability of childcare places.
• Extend the 30 hours entitlement to parents undertaking training to make sure childcare costs do not prevent parents from developing the skills and employability that drives social mobility.

I fully support these steps but in the longer-term, I still believe childcare should be state-funded”.