Posted at 12:13 pm , on Oct 12, 2018
I recently attended a drop-in National Farmers Union (NFU) ‘Back British Farming’ event at Westminster to show my ongoing support for sustainable future for British farming. I was proud to wear my wheatsheaf badge to publicly display my support for the campaign and the sector, which is being threatened by Brexit negotiations.
The negotiations are critical to the future of British farming. A ‘no deal’ Brexit would be detrimental to the industry for a variety of reasons.
The exportation of animal product and animals would be hugely impacted as the UK will be required to secure a license from the EU to export. This process can take a minimum of 6 months, immediately impacting livelihoods and incomes negatively as the total value of farm-related exports to the EU stands currently at £13 billion. Alterations to the free movement of workers will also have a serious impact on our farming industry.
British farming is integral to British economy, employing around 3.8 million people. The industry manages the countryside safely, acting as the foundations for the British food and drink industry, which fuels the economy with £110 billion. The Government must ensure the right environment for farmers to continue their business with as little disruption as possible.
This is a critical time for the farming sector, and I feel strongly about supporting the future of farming – as my Twitter followers will know, I love listening to Farming Today on BBC Radio 4 on a morning and tweeting along! I’ll be continuing to monitor the situation as the negotiations proceed.
Posted at 12:21 pm , on Oct 10, 2018
In honour of World Mental Health Day (10th October), the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) have launched a campaign called ‘Make It Count’. The campaign is aiming to improve the mental health of students and young people in education. There is already widespread evidence that there is a crisis among young people’s mental health, with 10% of 5-16 year olds having a diagnosable mental health problem.
This is something I feel strongly about and I want to show my support for the campaign. By improving the mental health of our children, we can help them fulfil their full potential.
The MHF feel that as children spend 30 hours in school, schools are important and must take a ‘whole school approach’ to improving the mental wellbeing of their students. The MHF ‘Make It Count’ campaign encourages schools to have a plan in place to measure the mental wellbeing of their students and that schools should be held more accountable for this. Furthermore, after learning that young people want peer support, the MHF aim to integrate peer teaching about mental health to empower young people to actively participate in breaking down the stigma.
73% of all teachers feel that training about mental illness was not prioritised sufficiently during teacher training. The MHF believe that teachers should participate in training that will be long term and sustainable by reducing their workload to participate in this 1 day a year. The MHF encourages schools to have regular, timetabled session to improve mental health literacy as the majority of children are not even aware of what they are feeling is. The MHF are also striving to ensure that every school has a fully qualified counsellor to provide a safe space for students to discuss and offload their problems. According to the campaign, a £1 investment into a child’s mental health is equivalent to £6.20 of benefits for them following intervention.
You can show your support for this great campaign by signing the pledge form by clicking this link – www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-schools-make-it-count/pledge-support-our-make-it-count-campaign
Posted at 12:23 pm , on Sep 28, 2018
The ‘Make Blood Cancer Visible’ campaign spearheaded by Dame Kelly Holmes ran through Blood Cancer Awareness month. Blood cancer kills 12500 people yearly and 52 in our own Greater Huddersfield. Blood cancer is the 5th most common cancer in England and the campaign has aimed to make sufferers and their families more visible to the public.
Dame Kelly shared her personal experience of losing her mother to blood cancer and aimed to push the campaign’s foremost aims to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of blood cancer. This is key because people can then flag symptoms to their GPs and reduce the waiting time of a diagnosis.
Throughout September, 14300 people showed their support by calling on the government to make commitments to a long term strategy for blood cancer treatment.
You can show your support by using the #makebloodcancervisible on Twitter or visiting the Make Blood Cancer Visible Facebook page where you can see personal images and stories of sufferers’ journeys. A number of short films including Dame Kelly’s story are available on www.makebloodcancervisible.co.uk