From Michelle Donelan <[email protected]>
Subject Latest update from your MP
Date June 30, 2020 8:14 PM
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Email: michelle.don[email protected] (mailto:[email protected])
Telephone: 01249 704465
Write: Michelle Donelan MP, 61 New Road, Chippenham, SN15 1ES

** Latest updates

***Special Advice Surgery Invitation – Please circulate this through your network***

Dear All,

Firstly, I want to thank you directly for the sacrifices and tough business decisions you have taken in order to keep our community safe at this challenging time.

As you may be aware, I hold regularly surgeries each week to hear the views and concerns of Chippenham constituents. Next week on Friday 3^rd July 2020 at 17:00 – 18:00, I am going to hold a special surgery just for key workers, emergency services and public service workers in the Chippenham Constituency. This will be a great opportunity for us to catch-up and for you to tell me about your experiences, share your thoughts and exchange ideas. I want to open this up to everyone working in public and emergency services in the Chippenham Constituency who wants to take part, so please do share this with colleagues and employees.

To RSVP, please reply to this email with your name, organisation, position and home address. I will send out details of how to join the video call next week. Hopefully this will be a good opportunity to have a constructive chat about our collective experiences working to help beat the coronavirus. Once again, I want to thank you for all you are doing for our community. Your sacrifices and the risks you take in your daily work have saved countless lives across Wiltshire – something that we as a community will never forget.

Thank you once again for taking the time to write to me. For local coronavirus information or FAQs on the isolation measures in place, visit: [link removed] . If you would like to stay up to date with what I am doing around the Chippenham Constituency and my views on a number of issues, please subscribe to my e-news by clicking the following link: [link removed] .

Kind regards,

This month, we marked the very first Quantum Tech Digital Week - where we celebrate and promote the UK's pioneering quantum technology developments. While many will not have heard of quantum science, it has already transformed our lives. Our mobile phones, computers and MRI scanners just some of the quantum technologies we use every day.

To mark this month's event, the UK Government is injecting £70million into British quantum tech companies to solve global challenges like building batteries for electric vehicles and creating energy storage systems that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, all via the use of advanced quantum technologies.

New ground-breaking quantum technology projects will help speed up diagnosis of cancerous tumours during surgical operations and detect industrial gas leaks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But this funding is just one small part of a wider £1billion government and industry investment to secure the UK’s status as a world-leader in quantum science and technologies.

This month we marked Loneliness Awareness Week and at a time when we are being asked to shield the elderly from the coronavirus, this is a very important time to talk about loneliness. In 2018, the Prime Minister appointed the UK's first Loneliness Minister, who has this week urged everyone to write a letter or send a card to an elderly person they know who is isolating.

As part of this, the Government teamed up with the Post Office and Royal Mail to stamp a “Let’s Talk Loneliness” postmark on most letters delivered during Loneliness Awareness Week (15-19 June), to raise awareness of loneliness and help tackle the stigma. This follows new research from the Royal Mail which shows that nearly three quarters of people (74%) feel that writing letters has positive mental health benefits.

The Government has also announced the organisations who will receive a share of £5 million to reduce loneliness, which was pledged as part of the Chancellor’s £750 million support package for charities. The successful organisations are providing vital support for a wide range of vulnerable people at risk of loneliness at this time, including the elderly, veterans, and people with disabilities.

During the coronavirus emergency, much of our focus has rightly been physical health. But as we slowly recover as a country, we need to ensure that the psychological effect of coronavirus is understood and treated where needed. So it is great news that from this week, staff and volunteers at the forefront of the national coronavirus response across England will be able to access a new Psychological First Aid training course.

This enables responders to develop their skills and confidence in providing key psychological support to people affected by coronavirus, including on issues such as job worries, bereavement or isolation as they carry out their vital work as part of the ongoing coronavirus response.

It will also help to develop understanding of how emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic can affect us all, how to recognise people who may be at increased risk of distress and how to offer practical and emotional support.

I know this has been an incredibly tough period for so many people who are currently Shielding. Shielding has involved not leaving you house for months, not seeing people you care about, not being able to pop to the shops for something you need. This sacrifice has been for a purpose and I want to thank everyone who has done so.

The rates of the virus are now low enough to allow for the Government's advice to be carefully and safely eased, as on average less than 1 in 1,700 in our communities are estimated to have the virus, down from 1 in 500 4 weeks ago.

From 1 August, the guidance will then be relaxed so clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield, but support will remain available from NHS volunteers and local councils. People will retain their priority for supermarket delivery slots, and still be able to access help with shopping, medication, phone calls and transport to medical appointments.

People should continue to follow social distancing guidance when outside their homes, as well as frequently washing their hands, to minimise the risks of becoming infected. The Government will continue to monitor the evidence closely and adjust the advice accordingly if there are any changes in the rates of infection that could impact on this group. If you require any urgent assistance please do contact me via telephone: 01249 704465 or email [email protected]

Those who follow my work closely will know that veterans issues are very close to my heart. Throughout the coronavirus emergency, the indispensable work and dedication of our Armed Forces has been highlighted - from Captain Sir Tom Moore's fundraising to the RAF helicopters flying PPE across the country.

But with this vital work comes a cost and some have raised concerns that coronavirus may have caused potential problems to arise for veterans both now and in the future. So it is excellent news that Johnny Mercer, Minister for Veterans' Affairs, has launched a new study into the effects of coronavirus on veterans.

The new study will look at the specific impact that coronavirus has on the Armed Forces and veterans, which will allow the Government to respond with solutions and support where needed. Needless to say, I know that our entire community here in the Chippenham Constituency will want to thank all of those in the Armed Forces for their work at this time.

Litter by the side of the road is not only unsightly, but it is also a threat to wildlife and damaging to the environment. Those tasked with cleaning it up face an uphill battle keeping our roads clean and I have been asking Highways England to do more for us in the South West to help prevent litter altogether.

So I am delighted to announce that Highways England have allocated a whopping £80,000 for an initiative to help keep counties in the South West beautiful and litter-free. New bins and signs installed under the scheme will help to stop rural littering altogether and make our roads cleaner and safer for everyone.

Among the thousands of incredible volunteers across the South West making a difference in the fight against coronavirus, I want to note the work of those ‘Biking for Britain’.

A number of professional and amateur bikers are supporting front line staff from their motorbike saddle by delivering blood and other critical items for the NHS across the South West, the demand for which has soared.

SERV Wessex provide a free service to the NHS in Hampshire, Dorset and South Wiltshire. The volunteer motorbike riders provide a service to collect and deliver human milk and transport blood, plasma, platelets, medical samples and medical equipment. Their work is absolutely vital at the moment and is saving the lives of Wiltshire’s residents, so on behalf of all of us in Wiltshire I want to say thank you to those Biking for Britain.

The Chippenham constituency has received unprecedented economic support to protect jobs and businesses during the coronavirus outbreak. 11,700 jobs have been protected through the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme with Government grants covering 80% of people's wages, up to £2,500 a month.

3,300 self-employed people have been supported by the Government through the self-employment income support scheme.

The Government's top priority has always been to support people, protect jobs and businesses through this crisis, and the furlough and self employment schemes have been a lifeline for local businesses and people in our constituency.

Email: michelle.don[email protected] (mailto:[email protected])
Telephone: 01249 704465
Write: Michelle Donelan MP, 61 New Road, Chippenham, SN15 1ES

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