162014Oct

Community, charity and volunteering

One of the reasons why I am standing to be the next MP for the Chippenham constituency is to preserve and support our local community. We have strong village spirits, community groups, centres and charities and we need to see them grow and continue.

This week I was honoured to attend Inspire: The 25th anniversary of Splash Wiltshire – a charity which supports young people across Wiltshire with activities and holidays. Providing team building activities that develop skills and ensure young people have positive outlets for their time.

Another highlight from the week was attending The Chippenham Young Farmers Harvest Supper. As a former Young Farmer I really enjoyed the evening catching up with friends and meeting more local people from the agricultural community. It gave me a warm feeling inside to see how despite living busy lives and the ups and downs of business, these people had stuck together and continued their social network.

I was pleased to mark National Homelessness Day and support Doorway’s 10th birthday celebrations. Doorway is an open access drop-in centre for those who need it because everyone needs help sometimes. I have always been proud to support this charity which is staffed by hard working individuals and dedicated volunteers who roll up their sleeves and help out community.

This week I also joined a fundraising coffee morning and heard more about the work of The League of Friends of Chippenham hospital. They have been working hard for over 50 years to donate equipment and gifts for the benefit of patients and helped save our hospital. The success and longevity of the charity is simply down to the dedication of many key volunteers and notably the relentless work and Chairmanship of Elizabeth Sexton.

I also had some spare time this week to meet local residents on the doorstep. If I have not managed to meet you yet then please do let me know your thoughts, issues and concerns. Plus, if there is anything that you would like me to help you with or raise with the Council please let me know https://michelledonelan.co.uk/have-your-say/

This week I also volunteered with TransWilts helping to conduct a survey on the rail line between Westbury to Swindon. Concerns have been raised that the newly-expanded TransWilts train service could be reduced. I have been helping TransWilts to push the case to retain our service and a few weeks ago I brought Rail Minister Claire Perry MP to meet with key members of the group and community to present the case. Conducting the survey was eye-opening – there was not only demand for the service but also users expressed their strong need and desire to retain the service. I will continue to campaign on retaining this popular service.

I would also like to take this opportunity to commend the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon. I am always impressed by the talent that we get to showcase and listen to in such a fantastic set up. This week I went to something a little different – wine tasting with Jazz – a little me time but it made me reflect on how lucky we are in Wiltshire. However, we need to continue to invest in, protect, and promote all our fantastic assets and together create and champion more.