• a thank you to our schools and those who work in them

    People across our communities are pulling together, in tough circumstances, to play their part in defeating this virus and keeping us all safe. Our incredible local schools are no exception, and I know from contacting our local head teachers and teaching unions in St Helens North that they are working day-in, day-out to support staff and pupils, and keep schools open for the children of frontline key workers.
    I want to thank and offer my full support to all staff in our local schools: from cleaners, caretakers, cooks, office staff, as well as midday supervisors, learning support staff and our wonderful teachers as they each continue to go above and beyond what is asked of them at this difficult time.

  • help needed for rugby league

    Last week, me and Marie Rimmer MP wrote a joint letter to Rishi Sunak MP, the Chancellor, calling for swift and decisive action to help Rugby League clubs financially weather the coronavirus crisis.
    Rugby League clubs are the beating heart of communities in the North of England, including here in St Helens borough, and they all play a vital part in each of them beyond match-day. With fixtures firmly on hold and revenues dwindling, we’re deeply concerned that the game stands at risk.
    The need for urgent support is both real and overdue, and as St Helens MPs we’ll pull out all the stops to ensure the game of Rugby League can come out of this testing moment as strong as ever.

  • Sport England’s new Community Emergency Fund

    Last week, I wrote a letter of support and thanks to many of the incredible sports and physical activity groups in St Helens North, many of whom are urgently seeking security, funding and clarity, in response to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on their existing revenue streams.
    I wanted to draw their attention to Sport England’s new Community Emergency Fund, a £20 million initiative which can provide awards of between £300 to £10,000 and over, specifically helping struggling grassroots groups to meet their fixed cost obligations. It’s a real lifeline in these most perilous of times.
    I would encourage all our fantastic sports and physical activity groups facing hardship to find out more and apply for funds if they meet the criteria, which can be done by visiting their website

    https://www.sportengland.org/…/our…/community-emergency-fund

    As the local MP, I will keep doing whatever it takes over the coming weeks and months to support grassroots sport; ensuring that it can thrive once again in the future.

  • NHS North west nightinggale hospital

    NHS North West Nightingale Hospital
    Many local residents will be aware of the official opening today of NHS North West Nightingale, the new 750-bed space which has seen Manchester Central conference centre transformed, in an unparalleled mobilisation designed to free up capacity in our NHS in St Helens and across the region and to save lives during the current COVID-19 crisis.
    I want to thank everyone involved for the unprecedented efforts so far, and send our very best wishes for the challenging time ahead.
    The hospital is still accepting expressions of interest for the following staff groups:
    • Dieticians
    • Doctors (Tier 1, 2 and 3)
    • Healthcare Support Workers
    • Housekeepers
    • Occupational Therapists
    • Administration roles
    • Pharmacists
    • Pharmacy Technicians
    • Physiotherapists
    • Registered General Nurses
    • Social Workers
    • Speech and Language Therapists
    • Ward Clerks
    If you live locally, have the required skills, and can commit to working at the hospital for at least 4 weeks, I would strongly encourage you to find out more and register.

  • kind to your mind

    I’m fully supporting “Kind to Your Mind”, a brand-new initiative delivered by a partnership of local authorities, the NHS and voluntary organisations here in Merseyside and Cheshire, which all across the month of April will be promoting the importance of mental health well-being for people living and working in our communities.
    As local residents will appreciate, the way in which we live our lives has profoundly changed over recent weeks, and whether it’s staying at home more, self-isolating, or dealing with heightened feelings of anxiety over vulnerable family and loved ones, it’s never been more vital to ensure our mind and body are fit, well looked after and cared for.
    I would encourage all those locally who’ve encountered difficulties to find out more about this campaign on its dedicated website: www.kindtoyourmind.org. There, you’ll be able to find a wealth of free physical and mental health well-being resources, as well as useful links and contacts, to help you get through these tough times.

    If you need extra support, please ring the 24/7 support helpline: 01925 275309

    If you’re a healthcare worker in need of help, call 0300 131 7000, or text FRONTLINE to 85258

    If you’d like to access wellbeing apps and resources www.almahealth.co.uk

  • I recently paid a visit to #StHelensTogether’s new Community Hub, where St Helens Council and partners are playing a key role in coordinating the supply of food and essentials for vulnerable people in our borough.
    It was good to talk with the dedicated staff members and volunteers about this vital work sorting and preparing packages, which will go out to those in our community who need them most.
    From my recent contact with the hub and local voluntary groups, it’s inspiring to see first-hand the generosity, solidarity and kindness of people in our borough, and I want to thank all those who are helping their neighbours and our community.

    If you need help, please ring 01744 676767

    If you’d like to donate https://www.spacehive.com/st-helens-together

    If you’d like to volunteer www.sthelenstogether.co.uk

  • an easter message

    I want to wish everyone in St Helens North a peaceful and safe Easter, in these difficult and uncertain times. I urge everyone to please follow the instructions to stay at home except for daily exercise and essential tasks, and strictly observe social distancing when you are out.
    As the coronavirus crisis continues to touch all our lives, across all our communities, I’m working alongside Liverpool City Region, St Helens Council, Merseyside Police and NHS leaders to ensure all St Helens North residents, our wonderful emergency services, local businesses and our community groups are kept safe, well looked after, and fully supported throughout these worrying times.
    My small team of staff are working around the clock in response to unprecedented demand, to help out hundreds of constituents, their families and loved ones; whether it be NHS and social care staff getting resources, self-employed workers worried about making ends meet, local businesses facing financial troubles, or those concerned about accessing essentials for vulnerable family members. Now, as ever, we will keep doing whatever it takes to help local people.
    As your MP, I’ve supported the national effort to fight COVID-19 and I’ve also pushed Government officials where local people need help, for example urging Ministers to do much more to get the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to our key workers. It’s why I wrote to the Foreign and Defence Secretaries, imploring them to repatriate thousands of British citizens stranded abroad. It’s why I asked the Prime Minister to introduce British Sign Language (BSL) at TV coronavirus updates for 87,000 Deaf BSL users. It’s also why I asked the Chancellor to financially protect our voluntary sector, which faces insecurity. I won’t stop until this support is given.
    In our borough, alongside the launch of the new #StHelensTogether campaign – with over 400 volunteers signed up in its first weeks – I’ve continued to liaise and work closely with our phenomenal charity, voluntary and social enterprise groups, our hard-working hospices, and local sports and physical activity groups. I recently wrote to each of them, offering my full support during these perilous times. With sport and cultural life also on hold, I’ve also made representations on behalf of British Horseracing and Rugby League, to ensure they have all they need to weather this period.
    As we each navigate the difficult weeks ahead, I want to say to all local residents that me and my office – along with local councillors – are here to do our best to help and assist you and your families. Together, as a united community, we can beat this virus, and ensure that people get the support, care and assurances they need and deserve during this difficult moment.

  • supporting the work of our fantastic charity and voluntary sector

    I wrote an open letter to all the fantastic charity, voluntary and social enterprise organisations operating here in St Helens North, to both offer them my full support during this difficult moment, and to thank them for their invaluable efforts on the front line so far.
    It came as myself and a collective of over 300 parliamentarians from seven political parties signed a letter to the Chancellor, urging him to take decisive action to financially protect the whole sector, which faces the prospect of serious hardship due to the growing impact of COVID-19.
    Sally Yeoman, Chief Executive of Halton & St Helens VCA, told me:
    “The charity sector nationally has spent 3 weeks asking for a financial package worth 1% of the cash the Government have given to businesses. We’re yet to get a response.
    “They can’t furlough their workers or go home until it’s over and in many cases they are on the front-line supporting the most vulnerable.
    “Local people need the services and support charities offer: charities urgently need govt support. #EveryDayCount.”
    As your local MP, I want groups in our community to know that I will keep doing everything I can, day-in, day-out, to stand up and speak out for your sector at this difficult time.

  • the need for government to use BSL

    After being contacted by the Deafness Resource Centre in St Helens, I’ve asked the Prime Minister to introduce British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters – as well as more precise, timely subtitles – for all the Government’s televised coronavirus updates, to ensure the UK’s 87,000 Deaf BSL users get proper information during the current crisis.
    From my ongoing work with the Deafness Resource Centre, based on Dentons Green Lane in Windle, I know decisive action on this issue is long overdue, and making such a simple adjustment to include BSL interpreters would significantly improve knowledge and understanding for so many Deaf people, while also promoting an important sense of inclusivity and self-worth.
    Clear, accurate and up to date information should and must be available to every person throughout our communities, none more so than at this unprecedented and precarious time.

  • getting our residents home

    I have written to the Foreign and Defence Secretaries today to ask that they do whatever is required – including chartering flights or using the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy’s logistics capability – to ensure British citizens who are stranded abroad can urgently get home.

    There are over twenty people from St Helens North in this situation in countries like Australia, Nepal and Mexico; my office will continue to press the Government to ensure their safe return.

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