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Newsletter: Croydon Coronavirus Update

My latest update includes:

1.     My schools survey

2.     Free mental health training

3.     Update on what I’ve been up to 


Dear friend,

 

I hope that you’re all staying safe and well. As the rate of infections and deaths begins to fall, it might be tempting to begin to relax and not worry about the virus. Whilst many of the signs we are seeing are promising, please do not lower your guard, especially as we enter another bank holiday weekend. It is vital that we all persevere and do not do anything that we know could risk leading to a new spike in infections. 
 

As ever, if you think any of the below might be of interest to others, please do feel free to share this report.


Please continue to keep safe.


Best wishes,

Sarah Jones
Member of Parliament for Croydon Central
Shadow Minister for Policing and the Fire Service

1. My schools survey

Many constituents have been in touch about plans to widen our school intake to include those in reception, year 1 and year 6 from the start of June. I have been in contact with the council, local head teachers and unions of course, but I also want to take the opportunity to ask parents for their opinions.

If you are a parent with children in school, I would really appreciate you taking the time to fill out the survey via this link. 

2.  Free mental health training

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, a time for recognising the struggles that many live with on a daily basis.
 

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England are providing free mental health training spread over a two-day course for the people of Croydon. They have a target of training 1,000 local people in the basics. During these difficult times, when our mental health can very easily come under strain, it has become clear just how important awareness of mental health issues is.
 

This is a fantastic and invaluable opportunity to get to grips with how to support someone going through mental health difficulties, be that now or in the future. This is open to everyone in Croydon but is particularly designed for people who already provide informal support or a shoulder to cry on for people they know, whether you're a sports coach, a trusted auntie or just a local resident who cares. More information is available here and if you are interested in taking part please complete this short form, after which someone will soon be in touch with further details.

3.  What I've been up to 

Parliament has now gone into recess, and with the Government voting for MPs to return in person after the two-week period, it would seem that Wednesday marked the end of the hybrid virtual Parliament. It has been an interesting experience representing the interests of Croydon Central in Parliament from a computer screen, but it certainly had its merits given circumstances, and it remains to be seen how a full Parliament will function under strict social distancing measures.
 

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve (virtually) pressed the Government on various issues, including universal credit, which has been partly responsible for the number of foodbanks and soup kitchens in Croydon quadrupling since the crisis began. I asked the Government to consider making the current advance universal credit loan into a grant, to stop debt being burdened on people who are already struggling during this global pandemic. 

I was also able to query the Government on the fact that Michael Gove had previously said that it was unlikely all security arrangements with the EU would be in place before the negotiation deadline of December 31st.  Europol and the European arrest warrant are schemes that are vital to tackling crime – not least drug trafficking and county lines. We need to cooperate with our European partners in the future on these important issues of security, and the Minister’s response did not fill me with confidence that this was a belief the Government shared.
 

Last weekend I sent out letters to elderly members of the constituency, those who will likely be feeling concerned about the current pandemic. I included useful information for the coming weeks, and I wish to stress that if anyone is concerned about a particular issue and feels I may be able to help in some way, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. I am collating useful information on my coronavirus hub which can be found here.

My office and getting in touch


Despite the coronavirus outbreak I will be continuing to work on constituent cases via email, and my office will be increasing the opening hours of its telephone line. I will, however, be closing my office to members of the public and holding my regular advice surgeries by telephone until further notice.
 
This is to ensure that we maximise the number of people we can help remotely and minimise the risk of spreading infection.
 
If you or someone you know needs to get in touch with me - please contact me at this email: sarah.jones.mp@parliament.uk

For further information about the coronavirus please see the coronavirus hub on my website. 
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