Archive for the ‘Community Relations’ Category
MP for Bedford and Kempston, Richard Fuller, spoke out for pregnant women in the asylum system at an event in Parliament on Monday 25 February.
Richard was hosting the launch of new research from The Refugee Council and Maternity Action that showed UK Border Agency policies are putting the health of hundreds of pregnant women and their babies at risk, by moving them to accommodation around the country, thereby removing them from essential healthcare and leading to isolation.
The charities are calling for women in the asylum system to be allowed to prepare for motherhood and access the healthcare they need.
Richard Fuller MP said:
“Every woman should be allowed dignity in pregnancy, no matter what their immigration status. The Government has recognised this with recent changes but I want to see them go further to ensure a health pregnancy and birth.”
The report explains that asylum seeking women in the UK have high risk pregnancies, often due to serious mental and physical health conditions having fled torture, or sexual violence in their own countries. The study found, however, that due to UKBA’s policies, such women are being separated from the specialist treatment they need throughout their pregnancies, contrary to guidance from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Richard attended the Armed Forces Day parade, which took place in Bedford town centre last Sunday. The parade consisted of armed service personnel from the past, present and future.
On Monday, a ceremony was held for the signing of the Armed Forces Community Covenant – a statement of mutual support between the civilian community and the armed forces community, which includes service personnel and their families as well as reservists and veterans.
The Covenant aims to encourage local communities to support the armed forces community and to promote understanding and awareness of the issues affecting them, as well as remembering the sacrifices made by them.
Twelve town centres across the country – including Bedford – will have a unique opportunity to revitalise their high streets after being selected to be the first Portas Pilots.
Richard was delighted to learn that the Bedford ”Town Team”, led by BedfordBID and created to bid for Mary Portas cash, has been awarded £50,000. Richard welcomed the announcement as another positive piece of news for Bedford that will bring a much needed boost to our town centre and he congratulated the Town Team for their “enthusiasm and vision, which clearly came across in the application”.
Local Government Minister, Grant Shapps, praised the exceptional quality of the winning bids, which will each receive funding and a tailored package of support from both the Minister and retail guru Mary Portas.
The winning video submission can be found here.
Richard welcomed more than 150 delegates to Queens Park for the first national conference on mental health in the Sikh community.
The conference, which was held at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Ford End Road, was attended by faith leaders, healthcare professionals and service users from across the country. It aimed to address the stigma associated with mental health in the Sikh community.
Richard opened the Diwali Festival of Light recently, welcoming a large crowd of people to Harpur Square in Bedford town centre. The event, which was organised by the Bedford Council of Faiths, celebrated the multicultural success of the town.
The day started with a procession through town and was followed by music and dance performances from the town’s cultural groups, as well as food tasting and a competition among local restaurants to find the best dish in town.
Cub Scouts Pack into Parliament as Richard Fuller MP becomes Scout Leader for the Day – includes video!
Richard recently became a Scout Leader for the day as 28 Cub Scouts, from across the UK – including members of our own Brickhill Cub Scouts – held the first ever Pack meeting at the Palace of Westminster. The event was part of The Scout Association’s drive to promote the benefits of volunteering to adults.
A collection of MPs worked with 12 adult leaders from around the UK for Volunteers’ Week. They helped the Cubs enjoy a number of activities including setting up a camp and going on an indoor expedition. (See below for video)
The benefits that volunteering has had on the lives of the adult leaders present was clear to all the MPs. Many of the leaders at the meeting only joined Scouting in the last two years.
Posted by Richard | Filed under Community Relations
I took part in the Sports Relief Mile at Bedford Park on Sunday, running 3 miles in a disappointing time, but enjoyed the event immensely.
It’s great that people are willing to give up their time for such a great cause. The turnout was fantastic and the event organisers did a really good job of cheering us on as we went along – it really helped motivate me to do another lap!
As for my time – well let’s just say, I don’t remember the Park being so big when I was a kid running around.
With only 20 yards of bicycling experience in the last ten years, I was clearly looking for support from others for my “challenge” to cycle from Bedford to Oxford (a 66 mile route) on Saturday.
I was blessed with support from many people. First – and crucially – from the Mayor of Kempston, Cllr Steve Collins, who kindly loaned me his bicycle for the trip. Thank you, Steve, and I promise to return the bike to you in roughly the same shape as you gave it to me.
Second of all, thanks to the irrepressible Holly, from St Paul’s Church whose prayers for fine weather for the ride were answered in abundance.
Thanks also to all of the riders who fulfilled the challenge – in part or in full – on behalf of the Beds and Herts Historic Churches Trust. Please support this worthwhile cause by emailing them here.
Finally, a personal word of thanks to Ben Waine who roped me in for this ride. When I woke up on Saturday morning, I was full of dread at my lack of preparation. I knew I would be the “tortoise” in the race and Ben kindly encouraged me along. At great surprise to myself and the people who sponsored me (thanks to them too) I made it. So thanks, Ben, for the encouragement and support. It turned out to be a great pleasure.
Not a moment too soon, the people of Bedford had the opportunity to celebrate the unique and special contribution of the Italian community to our town.
Growing up here, I remember vividly my family’s Saturday morning quests to various Italian stores for favourite breads, cheeses and other provisions. I remember my first trip overseas – to Italy – as a child and my parents’ subsequent frequent trips back.
Walking from the front of the Harpur Centre and around to the market square, it truly felt like you were in Italy. There was dancing, great food, great drink and cars to impress!
The new statue looks marvellous and will become a treasured addition to the town’s heritage. The Borough Council deserves much credit for siting it in the heart of the town.
Let us hope that we will have a second festival very soon.