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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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MP visits Acorns and Oaks in Westbury-on-Trym

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones recently visited an Acorns and Oaks session at a nursing home in Westbury-on-Trym.

In many care homes, elderly residents receive very few visitors from week to week; many suffer from loneliness and depression. And many young children are growing up without grandparents nearby: Links between the generations are being lost, and these playgroups are helping to reconnect them.

Thanks to Acorns ‘n’ Oaks, over 200 volunteer parents and children from Bristol and beyond have chosen a playgroup with a difference. Hosted by care homes for the elderly, the children brighten people’s days, just by being themselves.

In one year the project has grown from a single group, to 25 registered groups with an ever-increasing waiting list. You can find out more and support the group at www.acornsnoaks.org.uk

Darren said following his visit:

“I had a great time with Acorns and Oaks which brings kids into older peoples homes for inter-generational play. It was also lovely to attend a constituency event that I was able to take my daughter to. Thanks to the team at Acorns and Oaks for working so hard – they are a very inspirational team, and I wish them every success”.‬

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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.
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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.
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Darren supports cardiac screening for young people

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West has spoken about his support for charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young.

Darren said:

“12 young people between the age of 14 and 35 tragically die every week in the UK from undiagnosed cardiac conditions – 80% of these deaths occur with no symptoms. Furthermore, screening has been shown to lead to an 89% reduction in sudden cardiac deaths.The charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) offers free screening across the country but also works to improve the UK healthcare policy guidelines and recommendations surrounding young sudden cardiac deaths.

I pledge to support CRY to help improve the healthcare policies in place for diagnosing and treating young people”.
Find out more about how you can get involved and for support here: https://www.c-r-y.org.uk/

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Darren receives government response on sale of energy drinks to under 16s

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has received a formal response from the government regarding his letter on the sale and advertising of energy drinks to young people. 

As a member of the Science and Tech Committee, Darren has previously shared his concerns about the advertisement and marketing of energy drinks and health impacts on young people and urged for tighter restrictions on their sale.

Darren said:

“I recently shared my concerns with Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, about the sale and advertising of high-caffeine and sugar-filled energy drinks to children. You can see a copy of my original letter here.

I have now received a reply which outlines the results of the government’s consultation (which explored views on banning the sale of said drinks to young people) will be published later this year. I continue to call on the government to swiftly publish their findings and put a ban in place that protects young people from the effects of these cheap and widely-available drinks”.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.