Latest Covid Numbers
At the time of writing, from 30 January to 5 February, there were 389 cases of coronavirus in Richmond upon Thames. This represents a decrease from the previous week. The incidence rate is 196.4/100,000, compared to a London-wide incidence of 202.1/100,000 and England-wide rate of 200.5/100,000.
Data source: https://www.datarich.info/covid-19/
Welcoming the opening of new vaccination hub at The Stoop in Twickenham
It was a privilege to visit The Stoop last week, which has been transformed into a local vaccination hub. NHS and Harlequins staff have done a fantastic job to ensure 500 people will be able to get their jab here safely every day, in a fantastic step forward for our local vaccination programme.
Read more here.
Asymptomatic testing for essential workers, volunteers and those supporting vulnerable residents
All residents in the borough who are essential workers, volunteering or providing vital support for a vulnerable resident can now book a rapid COVID-19 test in Twickenham, Hampton & East Sheen.
The test is for people NOT experiencing symptoms.
Book now: www.richmond.gov.uk/book_lateral_flow_test
Active Richmond Fund
Voluntary and Community organisations are encouraged to apply for a share of the new Active Richmond fund worth £65,000.
The fund aims to support Social Prescribing projects in the borough to boost health and wellbeing. Apply here.
Standing up for you
Children’s Mental Heath Week
This last year has been tough on children and young people’s mental health. The impact of Covid-19 and a lack of support has had a huge effect. It is estimated that 1 in 6 young people aged 5 to 16 are likely to be suffering from a mental health problem. This amounts to over 2,800 children in Twickenham alone.
Last week I called on Matt Hancock to address this. Without urgent intervention, these figures can only get worse.
I also met with young ambassadors from Off the Record in Twickenham to discuss children and young people’s mental health. I’m determined to champion their concerns in Parliament. Read more about our discussion here.
Read more about my plans to improve children’s mental health here and see my list of useful resources here.
Safe reopening of schools
A major contributing factor to children’s poor mental wellbeing during this pandemic is of course the closure of schools to the majority of pupils. I have been working cross-party to press the government to publish a clear action plan for the safe reopening of schools as soon as possible. As well as writing to Ministers earlier this year, I have tabled this cross party motion, and co-sponsored a debate on a route-map for schools and colleges in response to Covid-19 which will take place on 25 February in the House of Commons.
Stricter public health measures at our borders
Yesterday I welcomed the latest announcements to toughen controls at our borders to reduce the spread of Covid-19. A year overdue, I asked the Health Secretary how many lives have been lost as a result of this delay.
Prior to this announcement, last week in Parliament I urged Ministers to take firmer action at our borders. We must not squander the gains of lockdown. Read more here.
World Cancer Day
World Cancer Day took place last week where I got involved to raise awareness of the challenges cancer patients have faced during these unprecedented times. It is vital the Government delivers a strategy to ensure those who have been left behind as a result of the pandemic are offered timely cancer diagnosis and treatment. You can read more about what I’m calling for here.
Speaking up for care staff working in people’s homes
Care staff working in people’s homes must be vaccinated as a priority. Last week in the House of Commons, I spoke up for domiciliary care staff, of whom it’s estimated two-thirds have yet to receive their Covid-19 jab.
We must protect all our care staff, wherever they work. Read more here.
Joining South Asian MPs from across Parliament to urge communities to get vaccinated
Coronavirus has had a disproportionate impact on the UK’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. Yet we know that uptake of the vaccine is lagging in many of these groups.
So, last week, I joined MPs with South Asian heritage from across political parties to urge Britain’s South Asian communities to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
Watch the video we made here.
Sign my petition: we care about clean air
Air pollution can have a serious impact on people’s health. In Richmond borough, air pollution has increased year on year since 2016.
Yet the Government has opposed safer limits. This is not good enough.
That’s why I am inviting you to add your name to my petition to the Government to impose legal limits on air pollution to far safer levels.
Government delay to landmark Environment Bill “not good enough”
Last week’s Economics of Biodiversity Review demonstrates the urgency of our ecological emergency. Yet the Conservatives have decided to delay the Environment Bill by 6 months.
We have written to Environment Secretary to urge the government prioritise this Bill.