Highlighting the impact of high fuel prices on Coastal Towns

Yesterday I spoke out in Parliament to highlight the impact high fuel prices is having not only on hard working families but on the wider economy as well. Speaking during a Westminster Hall debate on the subject, I explained that although fuel prices were a problem for every community the problems caused are especially acute for rural areas and coastal towns. I argued that petrol prices had a direct impact on coastal towns’ economies, as it made them less attractive to tourists. Petrol prices have a direct impact on the ability of families to travel, and therefore reduces the number of … Continue reading Highlighting the impact of high fuel prices on Coastal Towns

Pulling pints to support local pubs

This evening I am hosting a pub quiz to raise funds for the East Coast Hospice at the Albion Public House in Gorleston. I won’t just be answering questions but will spend some time on the other side of the bar serving drinks to show my support for our local pubs. As a member of the cross-party beer group in Parliament I am passionate about helping the pub trade during this difficult time. The All Party Parliamentary Beer Group aims to promote the unique role of the pub in English society. I am really looking forward to doing a stint … Continue reading Pulling pints to support local pubs

Charity Spotlight – Localgiving.com

Localgiving.com is an online community that encourages local people to support local charities. It gives charities and community groups tools to help them promote their work and receive donations (as well as Gift Aid) online. The website provides a platform for charities to raise awareness, boost support through fundraising, post for volunteers and engage with donors. At the moment, funding for small charities is under serious pressure; Localgiving.com offers an alternative and sustainable source of income for local charities who may be unknown to many, but who make a big difference in their community. The partnership between the website and … Continue reading Charity Spotlight – Localgiving.com

Charity summit hailed a success

It was standing room only at the Priory Centre in Great Yarmouth as representatives gathered for my charity summit this morning. A key networking event for local charities, it included invaluable advice from both the Norfolk Community Foundation and the Big Lottery Fund. In my opening remarks, I praised the work of the numerous charities across the constituency. Whether it is a high profile local cause raising millions for their project or a smaller group of volunteers organising a weekly activity, these charities are making a difference to so many people’s lives. This was a great opportunity for me to … Continue reading Charity summit hailed a success

Charity Spotlight – War Memorials Trust

The focus this week is on a nationwide charity, rather than one based locally. It has an interest in nearly every community across the Great Yarmouth constituency. Every village or town has a war memorial, either, the familiar cross or cenotaph set in a prominent position or a smaller memorial inside a church. They are a familiar part of our landscape, yet go unnoticed for most of the year until Remembrance Sunday approaches. The War Memorials Trust works to protect and conserve our war memorials, so they remain a part of communities forever. Last week, I attended the launch of … Continue reading Charity Spotlight – War Memorials Trust

Huge response to charity event

Over 70 charities have responded to the invitation to attend my charity conference on 4th November. The event will allow charities in Great Yarmouth to share best practice, and to learn about opportunities to access cash from the Big Lottery and the Norfolk Community Foundation. As a supporter of the third sector, I felt that I should try to put this support into practical action. I wrote to every locally based charity, inviting them to the event and I am overwhelmed by the positive response. A lot is written about the Big Society; but it is through the day-to-day activities … Continue reading Huge response to charity event

A stitch in time

Today I met with the Royal National Institute for the Blind at the Conservative conference in Manchester to hear how at least 50% of sight loss in the UK is avoidable if detected and treated early enough. Visiting the award-winning RNIB exhibition stand, designed to look like an old-fashioned haberdashers, I heard how sight loss currently costs the UK economy more than £6bn per year and how ensuring early treatments are available both saves money and prevents unnecessary sight loss. Sight loss affects two million people in the UK, which means there are likely to be 3,000 people living with … Continue reading A stitch in time

Charity Spotlight – East Coast Hospice

The Great Yarmouth area needs a facility providing in-patient hospice care. I highlighted this and the lack of real choice for end-of-life-care in my debate in the House of Commons in June. It’s great news that we are one step closer to this aim, following the exchange of contracts for the conditional purchase by East Coast Hospice of a five acre site on Sidegate Road in Gorleston. The charity plans to build a ten-bed hospice and operate a specialist palliative care support service. That’s a mammoth task for a local charity that is independent from the National Health Service. The … Continue reading Charity Spotlight – East Coast Hospice

Charity spotlight: Nancy Oldfield Trust

This week, I visited the Nancy Oldfield Trust who enables disabled and socially disadvantaged people to experience the beauty of the Norfolk countryside, out on the Norfolk Broads from their base in Neatishead. As a father of a keen “twitcher”, I was delighted to learn about the bird watching activities they also offer. Over 20 years, their dedication has allowed thousands of people to enjoy the freedom of canoeing, cruising and sailing along the Norfolk waterways. They do this without any reliance on statutory or government grants, raising all the money themselves through fundraising events or applying for grants from … Continue reading Charity spotlight: Nancy Oldfield Trust