Today Jack presented a Bristol Post Gold Star Award to Mrs Olive Cooke for her lifelong dedication to the Royal British Legion at the Bristol Post Gold Star Awards Ceremony. Mrs Cooke also won the Gold Star Hero of the Year.
Mrs Cooke has been awarded a Bristol Post Star Award for her dedication to fundraising for the Royal British Legion. Mrs Cooke is Britain's longest-serving poppy seller and this year was her 76th year selling poppies. Mrs Cooke started selling poppies in 1938 and to date has sold over 30,000 poppies. Mrs Cooke has also been awarded the National Points of Light Award by the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP earlier in the year. Mrs Cooke has also been awarded a Lord Mayors Medal by Bristol's Lord Mayor.
Jack who is the Vice-President of the Stoke Gifford Royal British Legion, said 'The Star Awards aim to celebrate local heroes who have done extraordinary things. It was a huge honour to award Mrs Cooke with this award and I was thrilled that she won the Gold Star Hero of the Year. Olive is an inspiration and has shown a great amount of dedication to a cause that is very close to my own heart.'
Today Jack held the Inaugural Election of Officers meeting to set up an All Party Parliamentary Group [APPG] for 22q11 Syndrome.
Jack has set up the APPG for 22q11 Syndrome to raise awareness of the medical condition having met constituents whose daughter suffers from it. The APPG’s officers elected during the meeting are; Jack Lopresti MP as Chair and Margot James MP and Paul Uppal MP as Vice-Chairs. The secretariat will be run by the registered charity Max Appeal.
Dr Alex Habel, retired Consultant Paediatrician Great Ormond Street Hospital, discussed how new genetic technology is helping identify those with 22q11 syndrome, both deletion and duplication. It is the key to improving these individual’s lives by early and anticipatory delivery of care. From conception onwards it affects many body systems, including the heart, palate, immune system, behaviours and mental health. Care is therefore best provided by a multidisciplinary team throughout the life cycle. Education about early recognition of 22q11 syndrome should extend to all professional disciplines who specialise in delivery of health and psychological services, and education, to children.
Mrs Carla Attwood of Bristol, speaking as a parent of a child with 22q11 Syndrome, recounted that her daughter, now aged 7 years, had been diagnosed early due to her speech and language difficulties. Some of her problems are ongoing but her care through the specialist clinic had been impressive.
Jack Lopresti MP says; “I set up this APPG to raise awareness about this syndrome now that it can be tested for. The 22q11 syndrome is estimated to effect up to 35,000 people in the UK. The detection rate is currently very low which means people may not be getting the help they need. I am pleased that so many of my colleagues have joined this APPG.”
Jack Lopresti MP and Chris Skidmore MP met The Chancellor to lobby for funds for the Great Western Air Ambulance and for a new M49 Junction
Yesterday evening Jack Lopresti MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke and Chris Skidmore MP for Kingswood met with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP to discuss funds for two important issues for their constituencies.
Firstly they brought to the Chancellor's attention the Great West Air Ambulance Charity (GWAA) need for funds to run their new EC135 Helicopter for the first year and asked for money to be made available from the LIBOR Fund.
Jack Lopresti MP says: "The GWAA like all Air Ambulances is a Charity and as it is one on the most recently formed Air Ambulance Charities it does not have any reserve funds. If the Chancellor could provide them with one year's funds GWAA would be able to put themselves in a sustainable financial footing to continue to serve in the future."
Chris Skidmore says: "The Chancellor listened in an encouraging way. I am sure he understands fully the important job that Charities like the GWAA do. Jack and I will keep campaigning for these funds. The GWAA do a fantastic job for our local area, and I know from constituents in Kingswood how valued the service is. As local MPs we are determined to do all we can to help secure investment for this vital service."
Secondly Jack and Chris spoke about their support for a junction on the M49 at Avonmouth Severnside. Avonmouth Severnside is the largest Brownfield site in Western Europe and the junction would link it to other key centres in the South West.
Jack Lopresti MP says: "A junction on the M49 is in my view an essential infrastructure project to unlock Avonmouth Severnside fantastic potential for jobs and growth."
Chris Skidmore says: "The full development of the Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area will provide good jobs and careers in our region and to develop the area we need to have the right infrastructure in place."
Today Jack visited Elmfield School for Deaf Children in Bristol to find out more about the school and their pupils.
Elmfield School is a bilingual school that teaches both British Sign Language and English. The school works to provide a supportive and positive environment for both children and families. They cater for Early Years, Primary and secondary and works with partner mainstream schools to enrich learning and the childrens experience of school.
Whilst there Jack took a tour of the premises and met with staff. Jack also observed the children during their Friday assembly and some of their afternoon lessons where he was taught some British Sign Language.
Jack said, 'Elmfield School for Deaf Children is a great resource for the Deaf Community and I greatly enjoyed visiting. It was a delight to meet with the children and have them teach me some British Sign Language.'
Jack with Babs Day the Interim Head Teacher
Jack Lopresti MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke ran in the Stroud Half Marathon raising more funds for the Great Western Air Ambulance which serves his constituency. Running his second Half Marathon in just over a month, Jack again finished under his target 2 hours at 1h.59.05m
Jack has run both the Stroud and, in September, the Bristol Half Marathon in aid of the Great Western Air Ambulance, raising money for the GWAA to help them run the new EC-135 helicopter which has now replaced their old 1972 Bolkow 105 helicopter which was no longer fit for purpose.
Jack said, "The support the GWAA and I have received during these Half Marathons is amazing. Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me. We cannot stop fundraising now though. Like all Air Ambulance's in this Country, the GWAA is a Charity and constantly needs public support. If you would like to help, please go to http://www.justgiving.com/JackLoprestiMP "
Today Jack Lopresti MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke confirmed he would be running the Stroud Half Marathon at the end of October for the Great Western Air Ambulance which serves his constituency.
This is the second Half Marathon Jack has run in aid of the Great Western Air Ambulance; in September Jack ran the Bristol Half Marathon for the charity which he completed in 1h.58m. Jack is raising money for the GWAA to help them purchase a new EC-135 helicopter to replace their current 1972 Bolkow 105 helicopter which is no longer fit for purpose.
Jack said, "The support I and the GWAA received when I ran the Bristol Half Marathon was amazing and I can't thank enough the people who donated money. The fundraising cannot stop there though, like all Air Ambulance's in this Country, the GWAA is a Charity and constantly needs funds, that is why I am running the Stroud Half Marathon in aid of them. If you would like to support me, please go to http://www.justgiving.com/JackLoprestiMP
Today Jack Lopresti MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke attended the Winterbourne Barn's annual Orchard Harvest Day.
The Orchard Harvest Day is an annual event at the Winterbourne Barn where traditional cider is made using a horse-powered 19th century stone mill. The juice is then taken to a 200 year old press to be made into cider. There was other events present such as Winterbourne Down Border Morris dancers, Skittles and medieval crafts. There was also delicious food.
The Winterbourne Medieval Barn was built in 1342 and is a unique example of medieval agrarian architecture. Restoration of the barn began in 2002 and is a community-led project based on heritage, food and farming. Jack is a keen supporter of the Barn and is a vice-President of the Barn Trust.
Jack said "I had a wonderful time at this year's Orchard Harvest Day and it was great to see so many people in attendance. Many thanks to the Medieval Barn's Trust and all the volunteers whose hard work and dedication made not only today possible but the Barn itself which is an invaluable community asset."
Today Jack Lopresti MP visited the Winterbourne Short Mat Bowls Club to see new equipment that had been paid for by a Big Lottery Fund Grant.
The Winterbourne SMBC were successful in bidding for a Big Lottery Fund Grant. They were awarded £10,000 by the Lottery Fund – exactly what they required. With the award they bought two electronic mat rolling machines which will enable them to set up and pack up after competitions and friendly matches with ease.
Jack said "The Winterbourne SMBC are a very deserving recipient of a Lottery Fund Grant and the money has proven hugely useful in upgrading their kit. The Winterbourne Short Mat Bowls Club is a fun and welcoming group. The club is also celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year so it was great to visit them during this period."
Jack Lopresti MP, today, helped to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support by attending a World's Biggest Coffee Morning in Parliament.
Jack had organised a Macmillan Coffee Morning in Winterbourne, however due of the recall of Parliament he was unable to attend. Instead, a coffee morning was held in the House of Commons where Jack attended and showed his support. The Macmillan Coffee Morning Jack organised in Winterbourne still went ahead without him and raised a good deal of money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The World's Biggest Coffee Morning is an annual fundraiser for the charity Macmillan Cancer Support. The event took place across the country on Friday 26 September, over 200,000 events were held around the UK to raise money for Macmillan.
Jack said: 'Macmillan do a great deal of good for a lot of people and their families who have been blighted by cancer by supporting them at every opportunity. Despite my absence the coffee morning I organised in Winterbourne was a great success and raised.'
Running the Bristol Half Marathon a couple of weeks ago was a very big moment for me as it was the first time that I had run a half for two years. As many readers will know I was ill last year and even though I have been training over the summer, which included three ten mile runs, I wasn't sure how my body would react to just over thirteen. However, I needn't have worried as Sunday turned out to be a great day and I was able to get round in just under two hours, which for me was a reasonable time. Bristol looked beautiful in the glorious sunshine and it was great to see so many people enjoying the efforts of the runners and cheering them on as we got round the course.
I ran the Half Marathon to raise funds for the Great Western Air Ambulance. They are based in my constituency at Filton Airfield and are essentially an airborne accident and emergency department due to the presence of a Critical Care Paramedic and Doctor on board whenever they attend an incident. They receive no funding from the Government or the National Lottery to carry out this work, and operate 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The run took place at the beginning of National Air Ambulance Week, in which the work of Air Ambulances across the country and the time given by volunteers is celebrated.
The helicopter that GWAA have been using is over forty years old and is no longer fit for purpose. Fortunately, they will be taking delivery of a new medicalised Eurocopter 135 model next month which will bring a great improvement to the standard of medical care that they can provide. Whilst I am delighted that they have been able to improve their services, it does mean that their costs will soar from £1.5 million a year to £2 million. It was for this reason that I was determined to support their efforts by running the Half Marathon.
The men and women who staff and run voluntary organisations such as the Air Ambulance are hugely important in assisting the emergency services. 2.1 million people live in the area covered by the Great Western Air Ambulance, and so I was delighted that the money I raised will go towards keeping it flying.
I've caught the running bug again and will be running the Stroud Half Marathon on 26th October to raise more funds. Any readers who wish to donate can still do so via my Just Giving page, www.justgiving.com/jackloprestimp
Upcoming Business â€“ Commons: Main Chamber (29 Jan 2015)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, including Topical Questions; Church Commissioners, the Public Accounts Commission and the Speakers' Committee on the Electoral Commission. Oral Questions; 9:30 am
Economy and City Link: Coventry (23 Jan 2015)
Geoffrey Robinson: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker-[Interruption.]
Today Jack presented a Bristol Post Gold Star Award to Mrs Olive Cooke for her lifelong dedication...
Today Jack held the Inaugural Election of Officers meeting to set up an All Party Parliamentary...
Jack Lopresti MP and Chris Skidmore MP met The Chancellor to lobby for funds for the Great Western...