With Easter behind us, I hope you all had a happy and pleasant family time. As many of you know my Easter was somewhat different this year, thanks to my household being the first Member of Parliament family in the country to welcome Ukrainian refugees.
Anna is a 34 year old mother from Kyiv and her son, Sviatik is 6. Both have been with us since the 3rd April and have become very much part of the family. My children adore Sviatik and he is now happily at school with them. Playing sport and especially learning to play cricket has been a highlight as it's not a main sport in Ukraine! In just a month his English has come on leaps and bounds. Anna and Sviatik have thoroughly enjoyed North Norfolk life and exploring the area. My family have enjoyed borscht, a Ukrainian traditional dish and our new family have enjoyed the delights of fish and chips and Yorkshire puddings! We have all been bowled over by such incredible kindness and generosity shown by you all. People stopping in the street to hug Anna has been so touching to see. I can’t thank you all enough - it is so appreciated.
I pledged this year to be an MP who rolled up his sleeves and got stuck into understanding the issues that constituents write to me about the most. As such I am spending some of my home time from Parliament volunteering. I have just spent the most wonderful week at a care home just outside North Walsham, volunteering with “Abbotswood”. This is a care home to a number of vulnerable residents with special needs. The love and care they give to keep many people safe with Down's Syndrome and a whole range of complex learning disabilities is quite remarkable. It has reinforced to me just what a phenomenal job our carers do and that their recognition and pay structure is wholly inadequate. I will be making these representations back in Parliament. My next volunteering role will be a week supporting the ambulance service in the Summer break.
I enjoyed taking part in the Mammoth Marathon this weekend. I ran the half marathon as I certainly am not as fit as I was for London in October! However, I have had so many people ask me if I will run London again. Last year we raised just over £38,000 for 26 local charities. The ability to help so many of our small independent charities throughout our towns and villages has compelled me to do it all again. So the Mammoth Half is the launch for London 2022 and my quest, once again, to raise £26,000 for 26 local North Norfolk charities. The training starts now!
Just a final reminder that our remarkable Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to mark 70 years on the throne gets under way at the beginning of June. I know so many of you throughout the community are celebrating this wonderful moment. I am so looking forward to attending as many events as I can with you.
MP for North Norfolk
In case you missed it:
- My next constituency surgery will take place in Briston on Friday 27th May. If you have an issue or concern you'd like to discuss, please make an appointment on 01692 557140 or email email@example.com.
- I am delighted to taken on the role of Species Champion for glow worms, on behalf of the Rethink Nature Partnership. An increase in light pollution has led to a rapid decline in the glow worm population, and in North Norfolk - renowned for our 'Dark Skies' we are perfectly placed to help this species thrive once again.
- I have been working with other Norfolk MPs and campaigners to secure the rebuilding of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn. A rebuild is much needed, and will benefit residents all over Norfolk but particularly in the western part of our North Norfolk constituency.
- I'm working closely with Sheringham town councillors to find a solution to the recent closure of Sheringham's Post Office. Plans for a temporary home fell through at the last moment, but we're working hard to ensure the gap in the provision of service will be as short as possible.
- It was a privilege to take part in the North Walsham Children's Play day, raising money for North Walsham Play.
- And congratulations to everyone involved in the restoration of the 'tympanum' (painting above the chancel arch) at Morston Church. A huge amount of effort has gone into this project and it was a joy to visit and see the newly restored artwork for myself.