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.