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 volunteersweek.org

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. 

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week: 22nd-28th January


A proven way to prevent cervical cancer is to have cervical screening to find pre-cancers before they can turn into invasive cancer. This is called a smear test and every woman over the age of 25 who is registered at a GP is invited to have one every 3 years; if you’re younger you can still make a request through your GP.

Cervical screening prevents 75% of cervical cancers from developing which is why three quarters of women attend screenings when invited. Getting that final quarter of women that don’t currently turn up for testing is the goal for Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.

Everyday in the UK 9 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 3 women lose their lives to it.

There are brilliant charities like Jo’s Trust and Eve Appeal doing fantastic work to help change those statistics; here are some of their tips on what you can do to make sure fewer women die from cervical cancer –

  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease.
  • Promptly attend your cervical screening when invited. For most women, the best protection is regular screening
  • For girls and young women to know where their cervix is – a survey conducted by The Eve Appeal showed that 45% of women were unable to accurately label the cervix on a diagram!
  • Everyone – (yes, men too!) to know how to prevent it and ways to support our life-saving research and awareness raising campaigns.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week runs every January; the 2018 dates are 22-28 January.

World AIDS Day 2017

Friday 1st December is World AIDS Day 2017.

After 30 years of fighting AIDS, it’s time to end isolation, stigma and HIV transmission once and for all!

But the fight is not just about the virus. For the 100,000+ people living with HIV in the UK, ignorance and discrimination can still limit opportunities, preventing them from living full and happy lives. HIV means you are more likely to live in poverty, and more likely to have poor mental health. Luckily, through education, we can help to combat some of the myths that lead to these stigmas.

You can find out more by visiting the National Aids Trust website. Here’s a link to find out some of the FAQs and the truths behind the myths.

Do your bit today to help end HIV transmission once and for all. Click here to find out how you can educate, share, campaign and fundraise – it’s easy to help.

Budget special – £50billion lost means residents will be £687 a year worse off

New studies show that the UK economy has stalled under the Conservatives.

This Conservative crash will wipe £49bn off the UK economy by 2021. That’s £687 for every person in the UK. Or enough to recruit 69,000 new police officers or 66,000 teachers.

The Conservatives are also putting £3bn aside for ‘problems’ with  Brexit.

Despite a combined £52billion black hole the Conservative Government have still found money for extra new tax cuts for the richest.

The Liberal Democrats, “These are the wrong priorities. Tax cuts for the very richest are not the most important thing when our NHS and schools are in such valuable need of investment and the economy is a mess.”

“The government needs to get a grip on the economy and change it’s priorities to help normal people in our country”.

Celebrating National School Meals Week

This week hundreds of schools across England will be taking part in celebrating National School Meals Week, which mark the biggest healthy awareness eating week aimed at children.

The free school meals programme is a £1.2billion programme introduced by the Liberal Democrats in Government. £150 million of capital funding was also made available to support local authorities in improving kitchen and dining facilities in order to provide free school meals.

Commenting Cllr George Butcher  said, “Eating a healthy and nutritious meal at school has been proven to help children do better academically and we have made great progress in ensuring more and more pupils all over the country can enjoy these benefits.

“With the help of hard-working teachers and staff, thousands of infant children in Stroud are now getting a free healthy meal at lunch time – saving parents a huge £400 a year.

“This week celebrates that progress and provides a chance to show off the creativity and talent of our hard-working school cooks and catering staff as well as saying thank you for all their hard work.”

Cllr George Butcher added, “I am proud of the role the Liberal Democrats played in first introducing free school lunches and then protecting them from Theresa May.

“We will now fight to ensure the Conservatives do not reduce school funding.”

Anti-Bullying Week – Get Involved!


Anti-Bullying Week – Get Involved!

This week schools, colleges, parents, carers, children and young adults unite to say a big ‘NO’ to bullying.

Of course it’s important to tackle bullying all year round! But this week is a special chance to draw everyone’s attention to bullying. So we can take individual and collective efforts to make sure children have safe places where they can thrive.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance’s website is http://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/anti-bullying-week/ and you can find, activities, check sheets and ways to support our community and strengthen it against bullying.

This year Anti-Bullying Week is particularly focused on ‘Power For Good’. Helping children understand how powerful they are and encouraging us all to use our ‘Power For Good’.

As we all know bullying can have a long term impact on mental health which is just one of the reasons we need to take this stand together. For too long Mental Health has been a Cinderella service, ignored, under-funded and taboo.

It is changing, but not fast enough. The Liberal Democrats will be taking every opportunity to fight for better mental health services in our country and to promote educated conversation which can be really helpful for people with poor mental health.y and to promote educated conversation which can be really helpful for people with poor mental health.