This week marks the start of Advent and it’s been fantastic to see all the Christmas decorations going up in towns and villages across the constituency.
I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the Christmas lights switch-on in Melksham, which as ever demonstrated that no matter how busy we are in our lives, Christmas really is a time for coming together and sharing in the community spirit, which is still so much alive in our area.
Furthering the festive theme I was thrilled to again attend the Wiltshire Heights care home Christmas talent show. I am sure a number of you will have caught the Wiltshire Heights newly formed choir at the Bradford on Avon Christmas lights switch on but for those who didn’t they certainly brought a great deal of festive cheer to the evening.
Wiltshire Heights are fantastic at ensuring the elderly residents in their care are a huge part of the local community, combatting loneliness and isolation which can so tragically become a part of older people’s lives and setting the best example of what the Christmas spirit really represents and I am looking forward to next year’s show already.
Whilst Christmas is at the forefront of people’s minds, work in Parliament continues and this week I was delighted that the Government’s Green Paper on children’s mental health services acknowledged that the transformative change I have campaigned for over the past year is indeed going to be put in place and with an increase of £300m to fund it.
The additional money will give mental health providers the funding they so desperately need to combat mental health problems in young adults and children and allow every single child living here in Wiltshire and across the UK to fulfil their potential and live independent and fulfilling lives.
I have fought hard at Westminster to ensure that no child should have to wait to receive the support they need and this paper commits the Government to a maximum four-week waiting time for referral to a mental health specialist, something which I certainly welcome. It would have been easy to have simply tweaked mental health policy, but I have always said we must be bold in our approach and this Green Paper does just that. I hope this will finally see an end to the stigma which still tragically exists around the subject of mental health.
I am running an increased number of surgeries in the run-up to Christmas so please do get in touch by calling 01249 704465 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment if there is anything at all I can support you with.