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It's a busy schedule working as the MP for Leicester South. We try to make sure we keep everyone up-to-date with important issues, topics that affect constituents. We do this with regular updates on the website, including this page, where we highlight news items.
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MARCH / APRIL 2018

Jonathan Ashworth MP is a Dementia Friend

Friday
April 20 2018
Today Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Secretary of State for Health, took part in a Dementia Friends information session organised by Alzheimer’s Society

Jon, and his Leicester office team, learned more about what it's like to live with dementia and the ways in which they can help.

Jon said: “This is a worthwhile and valuable initiative by Alzheimer’s Society. I benefitted hugely from this training as did my staff. I encourage as many of my constituents to attend information sessions or view the Society’s online video.”

The aim of the Dementia Friends information sessions is to turn understanding of dementia into a practical action.  Dementia Friends actions could include getting in touch and staying in touch with someone you know living with dementia, volunteering for an organisation that helps people with dementia or telling friends about the Dementia Friends initiative.

Ian Hind, Senior Dementia Friends Regional Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, commented: “It is fantastic to see Jon Ashworth MP uniting against dementia by becoming a Dementia Friend. He’s joined more than two million people who have learnt a little bit about what it's like to live with dementia and then turned that understanding into action.”


 

“Too many are facing dementia alone without adequate support. We urgently need to find a cure, improve care and offer help and understanding for people affected.”

 

People interested in becoming a
Dementia Friend can go to

www.dementiafriends.org.uk

 

 

Photo top right; Jon with (left to right) John Kemp (Alzheimer’s Society’s Stakeholder Relations Officer – East Midlands) and Ian Hind, Senior Dementia Friends Regional Officer

Photo bottom right; Jon and his Leicester staff team with Ian Hind, Senior Dementia Friends Regional Officer at Alzheimer’s Society
Click any photo for enlargement
 
 
Jon with (left to right) John Kemp (Alzheimer’s Society’s Stakeholder Relations Officer – East Midlands) and Ian Hind, Senior Dementia Friends Regional Officer
Jon and his Leicester staff team with Ian Hind, Senior Dementia Friends Regional Officer at Alzheimer’s Society

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, demands an immediate response from the Government to the Windrush Generation Crisis

Tuesday
April 17 2018

Yesterday Jon co-signed a letter to the Prime Minister demanding an immediate and effective response to the growing crisis facing British residents who arrived in the UK from the countries of the Commonwealth prior to 1973, known as the Windrush Generation.

In recent years individuals who are now in their 60s and 70s having lived, worked and raised their families in the UK, have been incorrectly identified as undocumented or ‘illegal’ migrants. This is due to the Home Office having lost its own records and the children who arrived in this country are no longer able to rely on the paperwork of parents long since deceased.

Jon said: “This situation is immoral and inhumane, and the fact that the Government can treat these individuals with such contempt, disrespect and lack of dignity is a national disgrace that shames us all.”

The errors routinely made by the Home Office have resulted in an irreparable damage to the families causing them anxiety and suffering, loss of the right to work, loss of the right to rent a property and even being denied access to vital healthcare.

According to Migration Observatory over 50,000 people are too scared and anxious to clarify their own status for fear of being stripped of their rights, detained or deported to a country they have not been to since they were a child and have no memory of.

 

 

Jon commented further: “I am assisting a constituent who was not able to renew his passport due to him being told he was not British even though he has lived in this country since the age of one.”

“As some people might hesitate to contact the Home Office themselves, I have today contacted local organisations such as African Caribbean Centre, The West Indian Senior Citizens Project and The Race Equality Centre as well as Community Leaders, asking them to contact me if they come across any people who may need my assistance.”

“The Prime Minister and Home Secretary must act immediately to guarantee the status of all the Windrush children caught up in this crisis and provide an effective, humane route to the clarification of their status.”

 

Jon has taken up the case of Mr.Knight who was told he 'isn't British' despite living here since he was just two years old. Click below to read the article in the Leicester Mercury.
Click and visit Leicester Mercury...
 
 
Jon speaking at the Dispatch Box
Jon speaking at the Dispatch Box
Click photo for enlargement

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, supports local ‘Health and Care Heroes’ for NHS Birthday Awards

Thursday
April 12 2018

Jon has announced the local health and care workers he has nominated for national awards to mark the
70th birthday of the NHS

The NHS70 Parliamentary Awards, sponsored by IBM, recognise the massive contribution made by the individuals who work in and alongside the NHS.

MPs in England were asked to put forward outstanding nominees who have innovated, impressed and made a real difference to how local health and care services provide care for patients.

Nominations closed on 23 March, and now Jon has revealed his nominations in the following five categories. These are:

The Excellence in Mental Health Care Award, sponsored by Wesleyan

Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group Early Intervention Service for creating an opportunity to have a consistent approach across mental health services in terms of the assessment of children and young people’s mental health needs.

The Person-Centred Care Champion Award
The Clinical Commissioning Groups in Leicester City, Leicestershire and Rutland and Leicester Partnership Trust’s Children and Families Commissioning Team and Children’s Community Physiotherapy for a new service providing customised chairs for children with long term, significant, physical disabilities which affect their posture.

The Healthier Communities Award
Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group Strategy and Implementation Team  for having the fourth highest number of patients diagnosed with diabetes in the country and providing a better support to control their diabetes than other areas in the UK.

 
The Care and Compassion Award
Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group Strategy and Implementation Team for their excellent work in diagnosing dementia, exceeding the local target and beating its own diagnosis rates from the previous year.

The Lifetime Achievement Award
Ms Helen Mather, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust for being a driving force behind the formation of the first Alliance contract in the country which is still running successfully.

Jon said: Everyone in Leicester is rightly proud of our local NHS and care services, and I’m delighted to be taking part in the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards as a way of thanking and recognising the people who work in or support those services.”

“As well as getting behind our nominees for these awards, I hope local people will take the opportunity to mark the NHS’s 70th birthday in other ways, whether it’s by finding out more about its history, sharing their NHS memories and stories and getting involved in local events.”


 

Further information on the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards is available at

www.nhs70awards.co.uk

 

 

 

 
Jon speaking at the Dispatch Box’
Jon speaking at the Dispatch Box
Click photo for enlargement

 

 

 

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South and Shadow Secretary of State for Health, supports the new Taskforce for Lung Health

Tuesday
April 10 2018
Jon is supporting the new Taskforce for Lung Health, which brings together 25 representatives from across the lung health sector including patients, voluntary sector, professional associations, primary and secondary healthcare.

The aim of the Taskforce is to develop a single five-year plan for improving lung health in England, endorsed by the whole respiratory community.

As well as bringing together the lung health community, the Taskforce will help build public awareness and understanding of lung health and how to keep your lungs as healthy as possible.

Respiratory disease is one of the top three killers in the UK - 1 in 5 people have been diagnosed with a lung condition at some point in their lives and every year 115,000 people die as a result of lung disease. It is estimated that the NHS spends £9.9billion each year on lung disease, including lung cancer and respiratory infections, making it the fourth most costly disease area.

Unfortunately, there have not been any improvements in the number of people dying from lung disease in over a decade. Whilst there are examples of effective services and good practice, they have not been pulled together into a single plan covering the whole patient pathway, from prevention through to end of life. The Taskforce is hoping to change that.

 

 

As a first step, the Taskforce has opened a call for evidence to identify what needs to change in how we prevent, diagnose and treat lung disease.

Jon said: “Lung disease is one of the top three killers in the UK and it is time there was a reduction in the number of people dying from lung disease.”

“I encourage anyone who has experience of living with a lung disease, like asthma, COPD, lung cancer or pulmonary fibrosis, to get involved and tell the Taskforce what can be improved.”

 

To submit evidence to the Taskforce and
help to improve lung health please go to

www.blf.org.uk/your-evidence
 
Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South and Shadow Secretary of State for Health, supports the new Taskforce for Lung Health

Photo above, Jon supporting the Taskforce
Click photo for enlargement

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, is running the London Marathon again

Thursday
March 29 2018
After successfully running last year’s London Marathon for the first time, Jon will be taking part again this year

Despite last year vowing never to attempt the Marathon again, Jon will be running again on Sunday 22 April. As last year, Jon will run for The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA).

Jon regularly speaks out in this important issue and has made supporting children of alcoholics a personal crusade in his national role as Shadow Health Secretary.

Jon said: “Despite last year’s vow not to run it again, I decided that I wanted to support NACOA again and to help to keep the two million children of alcoholics in the public’s spotlight.”

“I will, of course, be running the Marathon again for my Dad who was an alcoholic and sadly died in 2010.”

 





.

 

“Please help raise much needed funds for
NACOA by donating at my justgiving page.”

To donate please go to;

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jonathan-ashworth5
Photo right, Jon at the London Marathon finish line
Click photo for enlargement

 
Jon completing the London Marathon

Labour MP for Leicester South, Jon Ashworth, encourages people to check their eligibility for council tax discounts

Wednesday
March 21 2018
Jon is encouraging people who may have a severe mental impairment to check their eligibility for a council tax discount. Tens of thousands of people who are entitled to a ‘severe mental impairment’ council tax discount could be missing out on £1,000s every year

A recently published major report by MoneySavingExpert.com found that Councils could be overcharging up to 100,000 people. This is due to Councils not being aware of this discount or not giving the correct information to submit the claim.

You will qualify for a severe mental impairment discount if you have been medically certified by a doctor as being severely mentally impaired and if you are eligible, but not necessarily receiving, certain benefits.

Jon said: “It is shocking that so many people are being overcharged by Councils. If you have Dementia, Alzheimer’s, severe learning difficulties, Parkinson’s or have had a stroke, it is worth seeing your doctor to check in case you are severely mentally impaired.”

If you live with someone with a severe mental impairment and no other adults, you can claim a 25% discount for your council tax, but if you have a severe mental impairment and live alone, you should not be paying any Council Tax at all.



.

 

IIn addition to being medically certified by a doctor as being severely mentally impaired, you need to be eligible for, but not necessarily receive, at least one of the following benefits;

Incapacity Benefit, Attendance Allowance, Severe Disablement Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Increase In Disablement Pension, Unemployability Supplement or Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance, Income Support which includes a Disability Premium, Personal Independence Payment with standard or enhanced daily living component, Armed Forces Independence Payment or Universal Credit including an element for limited capability for work.


Jon commented: “I strongly encourage everyone who has been medically certified as being severely mentally impaired and who are eligible for at least one of the required benefits to contact Leicester City Council on 454 1006.”
To read the full report by MoneySavingExpert.com please visit

http://bit.ly/2pndh9m
 
 
Jon speaking in The Commons
Jon speaking in The Commons
Click photo for enlargement

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, thanks pupils for helping the Highfields Foodbank

Friday
March 16 2018

Jon visited Uplands Junior L.E.A.D. in Highfields to thank pupils for volunteering at the Highfields Food Bank

Jon with the School Council

Since the beginning of the year members of Uplands Junior’s School Council have been helping out at the Foodbank every Thursday.

Jon said: “I’m very grateful to the pupils at Uplands Junior who have been helping out at the Highfields Foodbank. The Foodbank provides valuable support to local people and I’m pleased that local pupils are involved with bagging up the food parcels.”

The Highfields Foodbank has given out food parcels to local individuals and families in need since 2015. The Foodbank is run by the Highfields Centre and Jon’s Constituency Office and is supported by Rahma Mercy which has a base on Hartington Road.



 
Jon with members of School Council

As well as handing out certificates to members of the School Council, Jon accepted a donation from Uplands Junior for the Highfields Food Bank.

Mr Danny Bullock, the Headteacher at Uplands Junior L.E.A.D. Academy, said: “The children have really enjoyed supporting the Highfields foodbank. They feel that their help is making a real difference to members of their local community. It has given them a taste of how rewarding supporting people in need can be.”

Ms Tylee-Sue Walters, School Council Lead at Uplands Junior L.E.A.D. Academy, commented:

“All of the children have worked extremely hard in helping with the foodbank. 



 
Jon with members of School Council
They have given up their lunch times to do this.  The children, parents and staff throughout the school have donated generously towards the foodbank and these donations will be presented to Jon and his team in order to help the families within the community.  The school council members are very proud to be part of this.”
Photos show Jon with the school council
Click any photo for enlargement
 

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, judges poster competition

Friday
March 16 2018
Today Jon, along with The Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Bach and local Councillor Elaine Pantling, judged a school poster competition at Goldhill Adventure Playground

The competition was organised by Goldhill Adventure Playground which is currently working with the Home Office to help reduce knife crime and anti-social behaviour in Leicester and Leicestershire. The most recent figures released by the Home Office show that serious crimes involving the use of weapons has recently increased by 25% in Leicestershire.

Goldhill contacted schools in the City and the County inviting Year 6 and Year 7 students to take part in a poster competition which helps to tackle either knife crime or anti-social behaviour.

Some of the schools that are participating in this competition include Sir Jonathan North Community College and Millgate School both of which are based in Jon’s Constituency of Leicester South.


 

Jon said: “It is great to see pupils getting involved with this anti-crime project. There were many great posters and I am sure that the winners will be very pleased that their posters will be displayed across the City and the County.”

The winners of the knife crime and anti-social behaviour posters each received a £100 prize. The posters will be professionally printed and displayed in schools, leisure centres, libraries, youth centres and community centres.

Dee Dixon, Playground Manager, Goldhill Adventure Playground, commented: “We have had a good response to our competition and alongside some great quotes, the young people involved have spent time and energy and given their entries a great deal of thought.  Potentially these posters could save a life, and deter someone from carrying a knife.”

Photo top right; Jon at Goldhill with young people, staff, Police Commissioner and Councillors

Photo bottom right; Jon judging the posters
Click any photo for enlargement
 
 
Jon at Goldhill with young people, staff, Police Commissioner and Councillors
Jon judging the posters

Jonathan Ashworth MP visits Eyres Monsell Primary School to congratulate staff and pupils on its Carnegie Centre of Excellence Mental Health Award

Friday
March 9 2018

Jon visited Eyres Monsell Primary School which is the first school in the country to be nationally recognised for its work in mental health and well-being

Established by Leeds Beckett University and social enterprise, Minds Ahead, the Carnegie Centre of Excellence Mental Health Award recognises schools that ensure the wellbeing of pupils and staff.

Jon stated: “This is an amazing achievement. The Headteacher, Governors, all the staff and the pupils deserve our congratulations on becoming the first school in the whole country to receive the Carnegie Centre of Excellence Mental Health Award for Schools.”

“As well as congratulating the pupils and staff I wanted to see for myself the different activities that have been introduced to improve their mental health.”

At Eyres Monsell Primary a wide range of activities have been put in place for all pupils, including yoga, meditation and mindfulness classes. Every child also takes part in character-building programmes and “mindful moments” which are a time to reflect, be calm and be ready to learn.

Greater support has also been introduced for staff wellbeing including training in mental health first aid, yoga and meditation.
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Kerry Hill, Headteacher at Eyres Monsell Primary School, commented: “We are delighted to have our hard work in the areas of mental health and well-being recognised through this national Kitemark award and to be the first school to receive GOLD status is a real reflection of the value we place on mental health at EMPS.”

“We actively promote and champion positive mental health amongst our pupils, staff and the school community and believe that it enables our pupils to be better prepared for the challenges they face both inside and outside of the classroom and school.”

The Carnegie Centre Award recognises the School’s 18 months of work towards improving educational outcomes for its pupils by improving mental health, resilience and well-being.

Nationally, more than 300 schools have signed up to take part in the new mental health award


 

 
Jon with pupils form Eyres Monsell Primary
Jon with pupils form Eyres Monsell Primary
Click photo for enlargement

 

 

 

Jon ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, demands the government drops its free school meal proposal

Monday
March 5 2018

Today Jon wrote to the Secretary of State for Department for Work and Pensions demanding that the Government drops its proposal to change the eligibility criteria for free school meals under Universal Credit

Currently, all children of people receiving Universal Credit are eligible to free school meals. The Government is proposing that people who receive Universal Credit, but earn more than £7,400 per year, will lose the entitlement to receive free school meals for their children.

According to The Children’s Society, this proposal deeply undermines the principle of ‘making work pay’ and will cause a million children in poverty to miss out on a free school meal.

Jon said: “It is unacceptable that the Government will leave a million children without a free school meal. Free school meals bring huge benefits for children’s health, educational attainment and wellbeing, particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

In Jon’s Constituency of Leicester South over 2600 pupils are receiving free school meals. In some schools the percentage of pupils who receive free school meals is very high. For example, in Marriot Primary over 40% of pupils receive free school meals, the percentage in The Samworth Enterprise Academy is approaching 35%, and almost 28% in Rolleston Primary.

 

Jon commented: “Looking at the number of pupils in my Constituency who receive free school meals, it is clear that the Government’s proposal will affect hundreds of families.”

“It is shocking that after cuts to Universal Credit in the last two years that have already made the majority of families on Universal Credit worse off, the Government is now taking away free school meals.”

As well as the school children missing out on free school meals, they might also miss out on a host of passported benefits such as uniform grants, home-to-school transport and music lessons.


 

 
Jon speaking at the Dispatch Box’
Jon speaking at the Dispatch Box
Click photo for enlargement

 

 

 

As part of Eating Disorders Awareness Week Jonathan Ashworth MP visits Leicestershire Adult Eating Disorder Service

Friday
March 2 2018

Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Secretary of State for Health, visited the Leicestershire Adult Eating Disorder Service that is based at The Bennion Centre, Glenfield Hospital

This year's Eating Disorders Awareness Week is asking the question ‘Why Wait?’.

On average 37 months, which is nearly three years, pass before those experiencing eating disorder symptoms seek help. The signs of eating disorders include:

Lips – Are people obsessive about food?

Flips – Is their behaviour changing?

Hips – Do they have distorted beliefs about their body size?

Kips – Are they often tired or struggling to concentrate?

Nips – Do they disappear to the toilet after meals?

Skips – Have they started exercising excessively?


Jon said: “I fully support organisations like Beat that raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of eating disorders and encourage people to take action. Given the average length of time it takes for people to be brave and seek help, it is crucial that when people seek help they receive treatment as soon as possible.”

“Eating disorders are serious mental health problems which can have severe psychological, physical and social consequences. Early intervention is crucial for people with eating disorders. The sooner someone receives the treatment they need, the more likely they are to make a full recovery.”

Leicestershire Adult Eating Disorder Service is part of Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. The Service offers both outpatient and inpatient care, which is staffed by a number of different health professionals including psychiatrists, specialist nurses, clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, occupational therapists and a dietician. The clinicians at the Service are trained in a range of therapies with more than 90% of the people the Service helps being seen as outpatients.

 
 
Jon commented: “My time at the Service was very interesting and informative which included a visit to the Langley Ward that meets the needs of the small number of people with anorexia nervosa that require hospital treatment.”

“It is important that I see such a key service being delivered on the front line and hear from staff, and where possible patients, on the issues they face and how the service can be improved.”

Peter Miller, the Chief Executive of The Leicestershire Partnership Trust, commented: “We are very pleased to be able to welcome Jon to our Adult Eating Disorders Service during Eating Disorders Awareness Week. As a regional centre for the East Midlands, it’s an important service, and one of which we are extremely proud.

The team is passionate about delivering excellent care to local patients, and this is reflected in the fact that Langley Ward maintained its Royal College of Psychiatrists ‘Accreditation for Inpatient Mental Health Services’ last year.”

People can seek help or advice from the Leicestershire Adult Eating Disorder Service
www.leicestereatingdisorders.co.uk
and from Beat eating disorders
www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk
 


 
Jon chatting with staff on the Langley Ward
Jon with Vicky on the Langley Ward

 

Top photo shows Jon chatting with staff on the Langley Ward, bottom photo, Jon with Vicky on the Langley Ward
Click any photo for enlargement

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, awarded Shadow Cabinet Minister of the Year

Thursday
March 1 2018

This evening, Jonathan Ashworth was awarded Shadow Cabinet Minister of the Year at the Asian Voice Peepul Awards

The Awards, held in the Members’ Dining Room at Parliament, recognises the work of people in politics and public life.

On receiving his award, Jon said:“With so many hard working and committed Shadow Cabinet Members it is a tremendous honour to receive the Shadow Minister of the Year Award".




 

 

"I thank everyone involved in the Awards and thanks especially to CB Patel.””

 

 
Photo shows Jon receiving his award
Click photo for enlargement
 
Jon receiving his award
 

 

 
 
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