New hardship fund for families struggling to access money for food
A new council hardship fund will be available for a limited period for those households with children (in receipt of child benefit) who have suffered a loss of income or loss of employment, and those with no access to other public funds. It will also support those unable to access the benefits system due to their immigration status.
The Council has received £1.1m of funding from the Government to support those in most need and has already helped around 1,700 of the borough’s poorest households with their council tax bills.
You can apply here.
Virtual mental health support available for 11 to 18-year olds
Young people aged 11 to 18 can now access free anonymous counselling from qualified counsellors via an online mental wellbeing platform.
Kooth.com is designed for young people experiencing issues with their emotional wellbeing, such as anxiety, low mood or stress. Counselling can be accessed through a drop-in service or booked sessions; there is no referral needed from a health professional, no waiting lists, and no criteria to meet to get support.
Petition to suspend night flights while UK airports are operating below capacity
Friends of the Earth have asked me to share their petition to suspend night flights while UK airports are operating below capacity. They say:
- “Many are still being woken by night flights starting at around 4.30am and kept awake by late take offs. There is no need for this at a time when there are plenty of free slots during the day. Moreover, advice from the NHS and other medical experts is that a lack of sleep is bad for our health and immune systems. At this time of crisis, it is vital that everyone gets a good night’s sleep.”
You can sign their petition here.
Standing up for your concerns
Crashing out of the EU without a deal would be an act of “economic vandalism”
On Tuesday, I called on the Government to put ideology aside and extend the transition period for the UK’s departure from the EU, in view of the double whammy for businesses as a result of coronavirus and Brexit. Sadly, the government has since confirmed it has formerly informed the EU no transition will be requested.
Testing in care homes
Given the coronavirus tragedy we have seen unfold in care homes around the country, I asked Matt Hancock earlier this week to commit to regular testing in all care settings, including for the under 65s and those with learning disabilities.
With over 9,700 unpaid carers across the Twickenham constituency, this Carers Week, it was a privilege to meet local carers thanks to Richmond Carers Centre and Crossroads Care.
You can read more about my meetings with carers and my thoughts on the challenges carers are grappling with, particularly during the coronavirus crisis, here.
Suspend sales of equipment used to target protesters in the US
Reports of violence being inflicted on peaceful protesters in the US are appalling. That’s why I have joined a cross party group calling for the UK Government to immediately suspend the sale of any equipment used to target unarmed civilians in this way.
You can read more here.
Supporting BA employees
British Airways is threatening to make over 12,000 staff redundant and significantly downgrade the terms and conditions of their remaining workforce by imposing a “fire and re-hire” policy. With many BA staff living in the constituency, in recent weeks I’ve been supporting their campaign to force the company to act more responsibly. I have now written to the Prime Minister asking him to use BA’s landing slots at Heathrow as leverage.
Protecting vulnerable children
This week, I opposed measures introduced by the government to remove a whole suite of vital protections for England’s most vulnerable children at exactly the time when they are likely to become more vulnerable. Many children’s charities and the Children’s Commissioner have grave concerns about these provisions allowing local authorities to relax their statutory duties towards children and families with little monitoring, oversight or reporting. You can read one of the points I made to the Minister here, expressing my concerns.
Munira Wilson MP