Festival raised £2k towards new air ambulance airbase

Last week, with Christmas preparations in full swing and the Parliamentary calendar still packed, it was a pleasure to be able to take time out to visit the new site of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance in Semington and present them with a cheque for £2,050 towards the completion of the project.

The money was a donation from the Wiltshire Festival of Engineering, which I had the pleasure of organising in November and recognition of the fantastic work that the new interactive facility will do to educate schoolchildren both in engineering and in first aid and lifesaving skills.

The whole of Wiltshire benefits from the amazing work and dedication of the staff across the air ambulance and the new facility will facilitate faster response times, greater provision for the staff and bring together both the operational teams and the charity and fundraising teams under one roof. It is a real honour to have the facility built in my constituency and I am pleased to have been able to support the building in just a small way.

Money is still required for the completion so I will be looking to support it with fundraising opportunities in the New Year and I hope 2018 will see the completion and opening of the amazing facility.

This week I was also given the opportunity to visit Green Square Housing Association to view its newly modelled homes in Corsham, having taken old housing stock which was no longer fit for purpose and re-built to better use the land and provide a larger number of modern homes on the same area. The Government has an ambitious housing plan and to meet this we cannot allow our green spaces to be threatened when we have inefficient land use, with housing stock not fit for modern requirements. I welcome housing associations across the constituency investing in improving and maximising current housing stock. Affordable housing, shared ownership projects and recent changes to stamp duty are key means of helping young people and first-time buyers onto the housing ladder and I hope that all these measures will help more people than ever next year to celebrate Christmas in their first home.

Finally, I ran another one of my Mature Matters Forums, this time in Pewsham, with conversation ranging from national issues including terrorism and Brexit to local ones surrounding development and infrastructure.

It is vital MPs are accessible to all constituents and not just those who use email and social media and I really enjoy these vibrant face-to-face forums, with the next one scheduled for January in Corsham. Please do get in touch if you would like to attend the next forum.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas. My office opens again after the Christmas break on January 2 and I have scheduled an increased number of surgeries in the diary in January so please do get in touch if I can support you in any way either on 01249 704465 or email me on michelle.donelan.mp@parliament.uk