As regular readers of my newsletter will know, as an MP I receive many interesting snippets of news about the Didcot and Wantage Constituency. I recently heard from the National Lottery that they have given grants totaling more than £500,000 in the last year to good causes across the constituency. The recipients were hugely varied, with two rewards of just under £1,000 to individuals under the ‘Heroes Return’ programme that helps veterans of World War II to take part in commemorative visits at one end of the scale and £365,000 going to Circles South East, whose aim is to reduce the harm caused by sexual abuse in our communities. In all there were 18 projects across the Constituency supported by the National Lottery: you can see more about lottery-funded projects here: www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/
Quite apart from the good news about funding, each of those 18 projects represents a huge amount of effort from volunteers and campaigners across the Constituency. Applying for a lottery grant is never easy, and each application in itself is the result of many hours of work gathering the right information and presenting it in the right way. Behind that effort, is the work each group or organization does day to day, providing services, facilities, activities or support for many other individuals and groups in our communities – a network of effort and help for others. As your MP I am able to meet many of these fantastic people, and see and hear about the work they do and I am constantly amazed by the dedication of the people I meet.
So much of this voluntary work is unsung, and can pass unnoticed, so I’d like to take a small opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to all those who work for others, in any way at all. We are all grateful!
This month’s postbag has been a real mix of domestic and international affairs, with issues such as autism, blasphemy laws in Pakistan, transparency in politics, wildlife crime and animal rights in South Korea featuring frequently.
I also received many emails and letters from constituents concerned about the plight of Syrian refugees. As the conflict in Syria continues to force millions from their homes, it is vital that we do our utmost to assist those suffering at this time of great need. I therefore welcomed the Home Secretary’s commitment to provide refuge to some of the most vulnerable refugees here in the UK. Following the announcement, I received an email from a local family who wish to offer their home to a refugee, which provides just one example of why the UK has such a proud tradition of supporting those most in need.
Ed Vaizey MP