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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.

 

 

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Darren plants tree saplings at Oasis Academy Long Cross

As part of his mission to visit every school in Bristol North West, Darren Jones MP has visited Oasis Academy Long Cross in Lawrence Weston to meet staff and students and take part in a tree sapling planting for Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.

Five trees were donated to Darren Jones MP thanks to a partnership between the Woodland Trust, Sainsbury’s and ITV.

The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife.

The Trust has three key aims:

i) protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable,

ii) restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life,

iii) plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering over 22,500 hectares. Access to its woods is free.

Darren said after the visit:

“I have planted 5 tree saplings – two silver birch, two rowan, and a hazel today (30th November) alongside students from Oasis Academy Long Cross in Lawrence Weston. I grew up in Lawrence Weston, and attended the former guise of this school so it is particularly special for me to visit as the local MP. I have chosen to plant my saplings at a local school as I think it’s vital that children and young people get to experience planting and nurturing trees and plants first-hand.

It’s great all four Bristol MPs took part and there will be 20 new hazel, silver birch and rowan trees across the city thanks to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project. As part of my visit, I also got to speak to students, school leaders and teaching staff which is always really inspirational but also worrying as I hear first-hand the impact austerity politics and cuts have had on staff and the services they can deliver. I will continue to call for proper and fair school funding – education can not be done ‘on the cheap'”.

Woodland Trust Chief Executive, Beccy Speight said:

“We are delighted so many MPs have decided to join us in our bid to plant trees as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. We all need trees. They are a cornerstone of our landscape and countryside, forming an essential and cherished part of our cultural identity. They are crucial in improving soil health and water quality, reducing carbon, trapping pollutants, slowing the flow of flood water, sheltering livestock, providing a home for wildlife or a space for us to breathe. I hope the residents of Bristol North West will enjoy watching them flourish as part of this wonderful legacy initiative.”

You can follow Darren’s work on education here.

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Darren demands proper funding of Bristol schools

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones said:

“Today (30th Nov) is #FundingFriday – where members of the National Education Union (NEU) will be calling on the government to fund education and our young people’s futures properly. Not those ‘little extras’ that the chancellor patronisingly referred to in the Autumn Budget but the must-haves like staff, safe and warm buildings and learning equipment!

I’ll be visiting Oasis Academy Long Cross today to meet with students, staff and governors to talk about how cuts are affecting them and see first-hand how hard staff are working to compensate for the lack of government support. I regularly visit schools across Bristol North West so I understand the huge pressure leaders are under to make cuts and how many teaching staff are considering leaving the profession as the stress is unbearable.

Members of the NEU – the leaders, teachers and support staff in our local schools – are saying enough is enough – I agree! I am proud to show my support today – and every day – for the campaign to end short-sighted and cruel school cuts“.

You can support the NEU’s campaign here: https://neu.org.uk/handsupsupporters

You can follow Darren’s work on education here.

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Darren opens The Hive at Claremont School

As part of his mission to visit every school in Bristol North West, Darren Jones MP recently visited Claremont School in Henleaze to open their new post-16 centre ‘The Hive’.

Darren said after the visit:

” A couple of weeks ago, I had the honour of opening the new post-16 centre ‘The Hive’ at Claremont School in Henleaze.

The building work at the Special Educational Needs School started back in May and included extending and converting pre-existing structures, with the final work finished in September 2018.

The benefit of moving post-16 students to this site is extensive. It’s of vital importance, older students have access to community learning with activities such as visiting the shops on the High Street, visiting supermarkets and cafes in Henleaze, getting the bus to the Mall and city centre, as well as trips to the community café and allotments at Golden Hill.

I was told it was difficult for young people and school staff to access community learning from the Redland site. However, with local amenities just minutes away from the site in Henleaze this was felt to be an ideal position for The Hive.

I wish the new centre, its students and school staff every success. It is absolutely vital every young person has first class support and education and can learn in a safe and supported environment”.

You can follow Darren’s work on education here.

(Photo Credit: Sue Thomas – Henleaze and Westbury Voice)

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Darren updates on L-Dub Community Bike Project

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West has been following up on concerns about the future of the L-Dub Community Bike Project following local press reports and enquiries from constituents.

Darren said:

“Following my meeting with Scotty on Saturday 24th, as promised, I have written to the Mayor about the L-Dub Community Bike Project. I’ve asked for urgent reconsideration so that Mr Scott can continue with this much-loved community project. I’ll share the response as soon as I have it”.