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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.
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 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.