Our local Joel charity supporting the families of ‘rainbow children’

John Mann MP (w110610-3c)
John Mann MP (w110610-3c)

Readers may well already be familiar with ‘Joel’ which has featured previously in this paper.

‘Joel’ is a support group which helps families who have previously tragically lost a baby, and supports them through their subsequent pregnancies and parenting.

These subsequent babies are known as ‘rainbow babies.’ The group meets on the first Thursday of every month at The Burrow at Clumber Park from 10am until 11.30am. They are also working on various projects to help them support families – including setting up a family room for parents at Bassetlaw hospital and holding an annual baby memorial service. In addition to this, it is important that they are able to achieve the income required to register as an official charity. They have been working hard to fundraise the amount that they need – organising car boot sales, a Christmas party, a charity ball, a Morrisons bag-pack and even a ‘Zumbathon.’ Please do support them whenever you can. Email joel.thecompletepackage@gmail.com.

Last week students from Valley and Portland schools attended my annual Parliamentary summer school, and they performed excellently. My summer school aims to give students the confidence and experience to help them succeed in their future professional lives, and to understand our Parliamentary system. The students interviewed journalists, MPs, and the Speaker of the House of Commons, and also spent time with business leaders and at a top law firm, giving them an insight into potential future careers.

The Government, via Public Health England, has recently published statistics about every area of the UK. The statistics cover various issues, from road traffic accidents to drug abuse to obesity. In some areas Bassetlaw comes out very well – in terms of GCSE results for example, our excellent local schools are clearly achieving good results. Some of the health statistics, including regarding obesity and diabetes, were however more worrying, and something that I brought up in Parliament whilst meeting scientists from Arthritis Care last week. The reality is that good NHS funding, and support for sports and a healthy lifestyle, have an enormous effect on our long-term health, and save the NHS money in the future.

The Payday lender ‘The Money Shop’ has agreed to pay back £700,000 to its customers who, due to the company breaking its own rules on lending were allowed to borrow more money than they could afford. This decision has come after the Financial Conduct Authority launched an investigation into the practices of the major payday lenders in March 2014 and follows on the decision by Wonga to repay customers it misled. It is important that the FCA continue to investigate this area as the payday market is well overdue an overhaul and unscrupulous lenders who break the rules need to be held to account. Readers may well have their own experience of payday lenders, and if they need assistance call my office on 01909 506200.

There has been a chaotic response in Westminster to the allegations of child abuse and high-level cover ups. I have put forward a number of written questions to the Government in an attempt to uncover the truth. Meanwhile the head of the inquiry, having just been appointed, has now resigned before the inquiry has even begun. I will continue to campaign for justice for victims of child abuse, and for an investigation wherever there are claims of a cover up or of files being destroyed.