Other countries should follow our lead on supporting human rights and refugees

In Parliament I recently used a speech in the debate on human rights to praise the UK response to recent humanitarian tragedies such as those seen in Myanmar.

We should be proud of the work we have done to support people across the globe but we cannot act alone and must put pressure on other countries to increase their support and play their part as we have done.

I have also spoken in the recent debate on HS2 rail to continue to push my concerns about the engineering skills gap here in Wiltshire and across the country. HS2 is a fantastic opportunity to highlight engineering here in the UK but we need to ensure we use it to inspire young people into engineering and put in place training to allow the skills needed to be sourced from local communities. If you would like any more information on my speeches in Parliament in January then they can be found online at: www.michelledonelan.co.uk

Here in the constituency I held a fantastic democracy workshop with the children of Rivermead School in Melksham. The Q&A session certainly brought forward some interesting questions and ideas and it really was wonderful to hear children so inquisitive and engaged at a young age. I also met the young adults of Hardenhuish School for an impromptu Q&A with questions ranging from the role of the private sector in education, through to veterans’ support, homelessness and votes at 16. Our role as MPs is allow all our constituents’ voices to be heard and to foster debate and it was a real pleasure to be able to speak and debate with both those in primary and secondary education.

I joined the fantastic volunteers at the annual Doorway homelessness SleepOut and praise them for the fantastic work they continue to do for the homeless of Wiltshire. It was such an inspiring event and I really look forward to working closely with the charity in 2018.

I also had the pleasure of holding the first open surgery across the constituency of 2018, thank you to everyone who came along and for the fantastic staff of ASDA Melksham who made it possible. It was wonderful to put a face to the emails of some of the people I have corresponded with in the past year and to be able to talk in depth with some people who need some support from me and my office on a range of issues.

I recently spoke on the issue of plastics in teabags and called on the government to challenge manufacturers to eliminate this unnecessary waste. To support this campaign I have set up a petition at https://michelledonelan.co.uk/petition and would be delighted if you could show your support for this measure by signing it.