Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Focus on men's mental health at Heart Wood

Congratulations to Heart Wood, a charity set up by Chip Ponsford from Hexham, on receiving funding from the National Lottery. Heart Wood was set up to improve men’s mental health through woodland-based counselling and therapy. They plan to use the money to run two eco therapy groups a week and train more therapists to offer more sessions. Currently sessions are held for men aged over 25 in Slaley and for 18-25 year olds in Ponteland. 

I am sure this funding will make a huge difference to the work Heart Wood is able to do in improving the mental health of men in our local area. If you feel that the sessions offered by Heart Wood might be helpful to you, please find out more by visiting their website here- 

Monday, 17 February 2020

Northern Point to Point comes to Corbridge

The next Northern Point to Point meeting takes place this Sunday (23rd February) at Downhills, Corbridge. The first race starts at 12.30pm, with pony racing from 11.30am. I have ridden a winner here in the past, and while I will not be riding this weekend, I will certainly be supporting. It's always a fantastic occasion- you can find more details about the meeting here-


Friday, 14 February 2020

Year 12 pupils- apply for the chance to experience university life!

Applications are now open for schools and young people to apply for the Sutton Trust UK Summer Schools programme. The Sutton Trust champions social mobility from birth to the workplace and their summer schools are designed to help young people make informed choices about their futures. Their summer schools give young people the chance to experience university life and explore taster sessions in a chosen subject. A recent study has found that young people who take part in a UK Summer School are four times more likely to receive an offer from a top university, so the benefits of the programme are huge! 

The summer schools are open to all state-school students in year 12. The deadline for applications is 3rd March 2020. 

To find out more about the programme and its application process, visit here: 

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Going beyond the Westminster bubble!

The General Election on December 12th was a vote for change. It was an election that sent a powerful message to Westminster that democracy cannot be ignored.

That's why I've launched a new podcast, it's called Beyond the Bubble. It's a different type of politics podcast, all about getting out of the Westminster bubble and focusing on the issues that really matter.

The first two episodes are out now, with Episode 1 featuring North East MP's Dehenna Davison (Bishop Auckland) and Jacob Young (Redcar).

Click here to listen and download now.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

St Matthew's pupils run to success!

Well done to pupils at St Matthew's Primary School, Prudhoe, who have received £100 from Prudhoe Town Council after having the most participants in the 2019 Miner's Race. Children at the school were presented with a cheque by the Prudhoe town mayor and representatives from the race organisers, Prudhoe Plodders and Essity. The school will use the money to buy gym equipment to support pupils' physical wellbeing.

The Prudhoe Miner's Race was revived after the 2012 London Olympics to build on the legacy of the games. This year's race will take place on 20th September.


Monday, 10 February 2020

Mind Your Head

Mental Health affects people from all walks of life, with one in four adults and one in ten children experiencing mental illness.

Today the Farm Safety Foundation's third annual Mind Your Head campaign launches, aiming to raise awareness and encourage communication about mental health and wellbeing of farmers and those in the agricultural industry. Mental health issues are of increasing concern in the farming community, with 84% of farmers under 40 saying that they believe that mental health is the biggest hidden problem facing farmers today. Additionally, 85% of young farmers believe there is a definite link between farm safety and mental health. It is estimated that more than 20% of farmers will suffer from depression during their working life; it has been found that whilst UK farmers are renowned for the attention they give to their livestock, crops ad machinery, it appears that they do not have such a good track record when it comes to taking care of their own wellbeing. That's why the Mind Your Head campaign is so important (especially in a rural area like the Hexham constituency) to raise awareness of the pressures within the agricultural industry and to encourage farmers and farming families not to neglect themselves.

The Farm Safety Foundation's Mind Your Head campaign takes place from 10th-14th February to continue the conversation about mental health amongst the farming community.


Saturday, 8 February 2020

Great opportunity for nature lovers!

Northumberland National Park is looking for conservation-minded young people aged 16-25 to experience life as a National Park Ranger. Young people with a passion for nature and an interest in pursuing a career in the environmental or countryside sectors can apply for a 10 day placement to take place from April-June 2020. Successful applicants will have the chance to work alongside staff at Northumberland National Park as part of its Ranger Team, becoming involved in the care and management of the Park.

This is a unique learning opportunity for young people to gain experience and skills. Northumberland National Park is the most beautiful National Park in the UK; these placements sound like a great experience and a lot of fun!

For more information, call 07795 834936 or email jane.riddell@nnpa.org.uk


Thursday, 6 February 2020

VE and VJ Day 75

This year marks the 75th anniversaries of VE and VJ Day, on 8th May and 15th August. Ahead of the nation's commemorations, The Royal British Legion are asking veterans to register to be a part of their programme of events. Applicants can be of British, Commonwealth or Allied origin and all costs will be met by The Royal British Legion. 750 Second World War generation from across the UK will be invited to attend the VE 75 events programme in London over the 8th-9th May. If you know someone who might be interested in applying, please do encourage them to do so!

Find out more about how to apply here:- https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance/remembrance-events/ve-day-75

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

It's not too late to get your flu jab!

Flu can be very serious, especially at this time of year, so I would like to encourage you to get your immunisation this winter. This is particularly important if you fall into one of the vulnerable groups; if you are aged over 65, a pregnant woman or have an underlying health condition or weakened immune system, please do arrange to get your vaccine at your local GP surgery. By protecting yourself against the flu, you help yourself and your local community.

You can find out more about the flu jab via the NHS here:


Sunday, 2 February 2020

Roman history gifted to the nation

English Heritage cares for some of our constituency’s most important sites, including Housesteads, Corbridge and Chesters Roman Forts and significant portions of Hadrian’s Wall. In January, English Heritage took responsibility for caring for yet another historic site in the Hexham constituency; following a generous gift from local landowner Jennifer Du Cane, Carrawburgh Roman Fort is now an English Heritage site.

Carrawburgh is one of 16 forts along Hadrian’s Wall. The fort housed a garrison of around 500 soldiers- first from South West France and later from Southern Belgium- responsible for defending the frontier of the Roman Empire from the tribes to the north. Carrawburgh sits between Chesters and Housesteads. 

As an English Heritage site, Carrawburgh will be open to the public, with entrance free of charge. For more information, visit www.englishheritage.org.uk/hadrianswall