Human Rights Day 2018

Human Rights Day takes place annually on the 10th December commemorating the establishment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the declaration’s establishment, a document that establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person. The document is available in more than 500 languages making it the most translated document in the world, marking its’ global importance.
Human Rights Day recognises the success of the document whilst realising that the documents promise is yet to be fully realised. There are countries around the world where these rights are not observed, leaving people at great risk. It is important that we stand up for the rights of those in these countries as well as our own rights. Human Rights Day helps to raise awareness of human rights and their importance, whilst putting pressure on non-abiding countries to make a change.
The Liberal Democrats recognise the importance of the International Declaration of Human Rights and fully support the document, realising its’ relevance now as much as ever.
The events can be followed through the hashtag #StandUp4HumanRights

Anti-Bullying Week 2018

Anti-Bullying Week will take place this year between the 12th and 16th November. This year’s key theme is ‘Choose Respect’. The theme has been chosen to highlight the fact that bullying is a behaviour choice and that a positive example can be set by choosing to respect each other. There are two awareness days taking place, starting ‘Odd Socks Day’ on the 12th and ending with ‘Stop Speak Support’ cyberbullying day on the 15th.

The ‘Stop Speak Support’ day will be Anti-Bullying week’s first Cyberbullying focused day. Cyberbullying continues to be a significant issue for young people today and the issue has received great focus in recent years. The importance of the day is shown by its support from the Royal Foundation and the Royal Cyberbullying Taskforce set up by the Duke of Cambridge.

Organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, the week raises awareness of bullying and the impact that it can have on all in society, not just children. The Alliance, started in 2002, want to create an environment where people can live, grow, play and learn. They do this by providing support and expertise in relation to all forms of bullying between children and young people.

If you have been the victim of bullying, need support or are just simply interested in learning more, visit the Anti-Bullying Alliance website at:

You can also follow the events online through the hash tags #antibullyingweek and #abw18

World Mental Health Day 2018

World Mental Health Day: 10th October 2018
This year’s World Mental Health Day focuses on young people in a changing world.
Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated. Depression is one of the most common diseases in teenagers and suicide is the leading cause of death for people between 5-19 years old.
Being young can be difficult, with changes in every part of your life. From exam pressures, social media, getting to grips with dating, to moving away to uni or getting a new job, young people deal with many different pressures while growing up. Often at the same time they are starting to use drugs, like alcohol, which can make problems worse.
Unfortunately there’s still a taboo around mental illness that means problems are too often kept secret rather than shared with friends and family. Luckily many of our schools have already got the message about the importance of helping youngsters build the mental resilience from early life. This World Mental Health day is all about improving communication between young people and parents, teachers and friends, to let everyone know that, like physical health, mental health is something to work at and to talk about openly.
If you are experiencing mental health problems or need support, there are lots of places you can go to for help.

Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)
Provides confidential, non-judgemental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide. You can phone, email, write a letter or in most cases talk to someone face to face.

Mind Infoline
Telephone: 0300 123 3393 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday)
Web site:
Mind provides confidential mental health information services. With support and understanding, Mind enables people to make informed choices. The Infoline gives information on types of mental distress, where to get help, drug treatments, alternative therapies and advocacy. Mind also has a network of nearly 200 local Mind associations providing local services.
Rethink Mental Illness Advice Line
Telephone: 0300 5000 927 (10am-2pm Monday to Friday)
Provides expert advice and information to people with mental health problems and those who care for them, as well as giving help to health professionals, employers and staff. Rethink also runs Rethink services and groups across England and Northern

Celebrate Libraries Week October 8-13

Libraries Week takes place between the 8–13 October to celebrate our country’s libraries.

Libraries play are very important to our area, helping to bring our community together. That’s why Libraries Week is focusing on how our libraries help with personal well-being. Libraries don’t just give us free access to our favourite author’s and magazine subscriptions they do much much more – bringing communities together, fighting loneliness, and supporting people with their mental health by providing a safe space.

Do you know how libraries help local people…

  • Libraries save the NHS £30million per year by improving well-being – a saving like that pays for over 1,000 hard working nurses!
  • Research shows that library users have are happier and more satisfied with their lives than non-users.
  • Being a regular library user is also associated with good health.
  • Reading for pleasure has been linked to a reduction in stress, the symptoms of depression and the risk of developing dementia in later life.
  • 76% of adults say reading improves their life and the same number says it helps to make them feel good.

Why not pick up your library card (or sign up for one) and get reading today to celebrate.

If you love your local library you can get involved with Libraries Week too. Just check out their brilliant website here.

National Armed Forces Day 2018

This Saturday, the 30th June, marks National Armed Forces Day and is a time to celebrate the fantastic contribution of our Armed Forces.

We will celebrate those who both currently and have previously served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, and show support for all of those in the Armed Forces community.

George Butcher said, “I believe it is very important to understand more about the day to day working of our Armed Forces personnel, and the issues and challenges they face – both whilst serving in uniform, and also when they leave active service and annually celebrate the huge contribution they make.”

“I will be using the day to #SaluteOurForces to pay tribute to the British Armed Forces community for their hard work, dedication and efforts to and keep us safe in the UK and across the globe.”

Here in AREA there are a number of events being held to celebrate our troops, service families, veterans and cadets.

You can find out more at

Celebrating Carers Week (11-17 June)

Carers Week (11-17 June) is an annual awareness campaign to bring caring right out into the open – recognising and celebrating the contribution carers make to families and communities throughout the UK.

This Carers Week we want to draw attention to the brilliant local carers in our area who work tirelessley, often without recognition or support.
Across the UK right now are around 6.5 million carers, looking after elderly, disabled or unwell, family and friends. As our population ages and people live longer, more and more of us will find ourselves becoming carers for those close to us. Many people don’t identify themselves as carers, they feel they are just doing what anyone else would so they don’t always know what support is available to them!
This Carers Week, caring charities like Carers UK are coming together with local communities to make sure carers stay Healthy and Connected. Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience, enriching relationships and bringing satisfaction and wellbeing. However, the hours of care that the 6.5 million carers provide for ill, seriously ill or disabled loved ones often comes at a cost to their own health and wellbeing. All of us, wherever we live, whatever we do, have a part to play.

If you want to find out more, or help support carers week by running a local event then have a look at the links below.

If you’re reading this as a carer then thank you!

Check out Carers UK here.

Get involved with Carers Week to raise awareness for local carers here.

National Volunteers’ Week 2018

1st – 7th June is National Volunteers’ Week 2018 and I want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers in our area.

It’s people like you who make our area such a wonderful place to live and work so I’m really happy to take this week to say thank you properly.

If you’ve never volunteered before then there’s never been a better week to start. You might want to join a community group doing other great things in our area, so please spend a few minutes on Google now and start a new chapter by getting stuck in locally.

PS. To find our more about National Volunteers’ Week go to

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

Run by the Mental Health Foundation – this Mental Health Awareness Week, 14-20 May 2018, looks at stress and how to cope with it.
For many people the stresses of life can become difficult to deal with so this Mental Health Awareness Week is all about tackling and coping with stress so that it never becomes too much.
Talking with friends and colleagues about your stress can really help to relieve it and so can looking after yourself. You don’t have to be a superhuman, everyone needs a bit of support sometimes. You can also help stress with simple healthy eating, sensible drinking and regular exercise, all of which are proven to increase mental well being. Above all make sure you understand and be proud of yourself for who you are.
Locally the Liberal Democrats are backing the campaign to bring mental health to the forefront of the conversation, and to the forefront of the government’s mind. Campaigning for parity between mental and physical health services.
Many people are now starting to talk about their mental health too. But it can be tough to recognise that we sometimes don’t feel 100% and tough to talk about it if we do. There are tools available to you and talk about it with friends, family or a professional.
And why not wear a green ribbon to promote Mental Health Awareness Week too – you can buy them here.

Here are some useful links for people who want to learn more about mental health –
Mind – Mind is an amazing charity that offers help to anyone struggling with mental illness.
Samaritans – The Samaritans offer support to anyone even if you just want a chat. They’re open for calls 24/7, 365 days a year. You can call them on 116 123 and speak to one of their volunteers. It’s completely anonymous.
NHS – Your GP can help you through a difficult time, as well as help assess you and find local links to help you through a hard time. You can also find details of how to get well at the NHS online here.

School meals in line for Conservative cuts

Changes to Universal Credit mean nearly 1million poorer children will lose out on a free nutritious meal at lunch – costing parents £400 a year.

Free school meals were brought in as one of a series of new investments in our schools by the Liberal Democrats in the coalition. Now they are being cut by the Conservatives.

The policy has been a huge success, improving school outcomes for local children. In fact the policy has not just improved outcomes for the families and children that receive free dinners, but all across school classes. The free nutritional lunches have been linked with better concentration as well as better health. The policy also saves some of Britain’s poorer families over £400 each year.

Commenting Liberal Democrat schools spokesperson Layla Moran MP said, “Ensuring every child has a nutritious meal during the school day is incredibly important, helping to ensure they thrive at school and get the most from their lessons.”

These changes come in the wake of broken promises on free school breakfasts for every child. A promise that was popular and central to the Conservatives failed General Election gamble.

MS Awareness Week 23-29 April

23-29 April 2018 is MS week, which is a chance for us all to do our bit to raise awareness and money to make sure no one has to fight MS alone.

MS is a neurological life long condition which affects your brain, spinal chord and central nervous system. As a result MS can create many different symptoms, and is different for every patient.

Of the over 100,000 UK sufferers of MS almost three times as many are women than men. Typically people are diagnosed with the condition in their 20s and 30s.

If you want to learn more about MS click here. 

If you want to get involved and be Bold In Blue to raise money and awareness click here.