My Week

 Every May, I join a sponsored walk in Arundel Park for the Sussex Snowdrop Trust.  This wonderful local charity provides nursing care at home for children who have a life-threatening or terminal illness, helping families who are going through the worst possible time.


On Friday I visited the charity’s office in Walberton to learn more about their work.  They are currently helping 77 children in the area, providing a package of care which includes emotional and financial support, as well as nursing.


There are also 25 Snowdrop volunteers who drive families to and from hospital, befriend families and accompany children, including siblings, on outings.


Snowdrop’s founder, Di Levantine, is truly an inspiration, having dedicated 23 years as the charity’s full time, unsalaried Chief Executive.


The cost of providing their nurses is around £300,000 a year, and the Trust relies almost entirely on donations and fundraising, so please contact Snowdrop if you can help with their work or a fundraising event.


Also on Friday I convened a meeting involving Storrington & Sullington Parish Council, Horsham District Council, Chichester Diocese and the GPs at The Glebe to try and find a solution to expanding the surgery, which is clearly much needed.


This week I am in Brazil - not at taxpayers’ expense - where I am meeting their MPs and officials to discuss my Global TB Caucus to promote the fight against tuberculosis.


I visited a favela (urban slum) in Rio de Janeiro where poverty and the housing conditions cause TB.  It was quite an experience.


The Commons returns on Monday when I will be speaking in a debate on broadband.  In the Arundel and South Downs Constituency there are 46,251 premises, of which the Government estimates that currently 20,944 premises have benefited from superfast coverage through commercial roll-out.


A further 18,840 premises will receive superfast by June 2017 under the publicly supported programme, of which 16,102 have received coverage so far.


However, even if these estimates are correct, this means that 6,467 premises will not have access to superfast - one in seven.  This is the ‘digital divide’ which I will be speaking about and which my summit next month aims to close.





8 October 2015

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