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It's a busy schedule working as the MP for Leicester South. We try to make sure we keep everyone up-to-date with important issues, topics that affect constituents. We do this with regular updates on the website, including this page, where we highlight news items.
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JUNE 2014

Jon Ashworth MP calls into Tommy’s Fundraiser

Friday June 27 2014

Jon Ashworth dropped into The Exchange Bar and donated a prize for the raffle.

The event, which ran from 10am to 1pm, was organised by Frances Williams who is raising money for Tommy’s charity that funds research into pregnancy problems and provides information to parents.

Jon said: “When I read in The Mercury about the work that Frances is doing to doing to reduce the number of women who will lose a baby during pregnancy or childbirth, I wanted to contribute somehow and show her my support.”

The event was a mother and baby clothes, toys and book swap fund raiser. There was also a raffle to which Jon donated a box of House of Commons Handmade Mint Creams.

Frances commented: “I was delighted to hear Jon wanted to support my charity event to raise money for Tommys. Many people are unaware that currently in the UK 1 in 4 babies die during pregnancy and childbirth. As I developed one of the complications that can lead to a mother or baby death I really wanted to raise awareness of the work Tommy’s do.”

“No one can tell me why I developed pre-eclampsia so this is a worry in any future pregnancies and why I want to raise as much money as possible to help all mothers and babies.”


 
Jon and Frances
As well as organising fund raising events Frances will be running for Tommy’s in the 2015 London Marathon. Anyone wishing to support her campaign can get information at:
www.justgiving.com/franceswilliams1984
Photos: above, Jon and Frances, above right, Frances with her husband Daniel, below right, Jon with (left to right) Christina (Daniel’s Grandmother) and Mandy (Frances’ Mum)
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Frances with her husband Daniel
Jon with (left to right) Christina (Daniel’s Grandmother) and Mandy (Frances’ Mum)

Jon Ashworth MP supports students’ Policy Work in Parliament

Monday June 23 2014

At an event in Parliament, Jon Ashworth supported the contributions of De Montfort University students to the national policy debate ahead of the 2015 General Election.

The University launched their Policy Commission in the House of Lords earlier today, producing a report with 100 policy ideas from its students. The aim of the Commission is to engage students in public life and new ways of learning.

Jon commented: “I always support young people’s participation in public life, and this is a great example of just that. The Policy Commission brings together student opinion in a serious, thought-provoking way, and I’m deeply impressed at the talent we have at our local universities.”

The event was hosted by Lord Waheed Alli, Chancellor of the University. Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard led the discussions, and students were given the opportunity to present their ideas to members of both the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

The themes of the report are: future of our urban spaces and cities; citizenship and political participation; welfare reform and communities; young people and employment; and migration and communities.


 
Jon Ashworth introducing the Policy Commission
Jon commented further: “The report is striking not only for the complexity of the issues it approaches, but also for the concise and daring way it’s been presented.” “I congratulate Professor Shellard and his team. This report shows that DMU goes from strength to strength as a dynamic, innovative, inclusive University, and I’ll certainly be sharing this with my colleagues for them to consider too.”

Photos: above, Jon Ashworth introducing the Policy Commission, above right, Jon Ashworth commenting further on the Policy Commission in Parliament, below right, Jon Ashworth with Professor Dominic Shellard (left) and Lord Waheed Alli (far left)
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Jon Ashworth commenting further on the Policy Commission in Parliament
Jon Ashworth with Professor Dominic Shellard (left) and Lord Waheed Alli (far left)

Jon Ashworth MP visited Harley Grange on National Care Home Open Day

Friday June 20 2014

Jon met residents and staff at Harley Grange which is based in his Constituency.

This is the second year running care homes across the country are opening their doors to the public.

Speaking before the visit to Knighton, Jon stated: “I’m really looking forward to visiting Harley Grange and with this year’s theme being the World Cup it will be a fun and enjoyable visit. Unfortunately, there was little to cheer about after Thursday’s match with Uruguay.”

National Care Home Open Day has the aim of showing everyone what care homes are really about, not the negative media coverage associated with a very small number of badly run homes.

 
Jon and Jeanne (The Manager) talking in the Garden at Harley Grange
Jon commented: “I hope lots of people in Leicester visited their local care home as the day is about creating lasting links between the care home residents and their local communities.”

Photos: above, Jon and Jeanne (The Manager) talking in the Garden at Harley Grange, top right, Janice, Jon and Jeanne, bottom right, Jon with Marjorie who is 102 years of age
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Janice, Jon and Jeanne
Jon with Marjorie who is 102 years of age

Jon Ashworth MP attends The Saffron Lane Pre Work Club Graduation

Friday June 20 2014

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, presented certificates at the Saffron Lane Preparation for Work Training Club.

Speaking before the event, Jon said: “I am looking forward to presenting certificates to the local people who have completed the course. I have always supported Phoenix Therapies with their innovative projects and I am especially keen to have a Work, or Job, Club on Saffron Lane.”

There were seven learners on the 15 week Preparation for Work Course, aged between 23 and 59 years of age, who were all long term unemployed with complex barriers to employment.

Paula North, one of the Directors of Phoenix Therapies, stated: "Phoenix Therapies believes that in order to successfully tackle unemployment you must first repair the damage that it creates. Research has shown that the vast majority of people want to work and that the biggest barrier to employment is low confidence.”

“It takes motivation, confidence and courage to find employment in today's economic climate. Phoenix Therapies empowers people to create and maintain these attributes so that finding and sustaining employment goes from being impossible to highly likely."

All the participants are now either in paid work, are undertaking voluntary work or attending different courses as a step to increasing confidence and gaining employment.

 

 
Jon listens to Karen’s achievements with Paula North (right), one of the Directors of Phoenix Therapies

The positive effect the course has is clearly shown in the following quote from Naseem Akhtar: “When I first joined the course I thought life was not worth living. I blamed myself for everything and thought I was a failure. The course has taught me look after myself; helped me to deal with stress in a positive way; that there is always a solution to a problem and to face my fears using affirmations. I am 25% more confident than I was.”

Although the headline unemployment rate for Leicester is decreasing, the latest figures show that there are still over 1,100 of Jon’s Constituents who have been unemployed for over 12 months.  

Jon commented: “With so many Constituents being long term employed, there is a need for more Pre-Work Clubs to assist people back into the job market.”

 
Jon presents Adam with his Certificate
Photo above left, Jon listens to Karen’s achievements with Paula North (right), one of the Directors of Phoenix Therapies, photo above right; Jon presents Adam with his Certificate
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Jon Ashworth MP calls into the Linwood Lunch Club

Friday June 20 2014

Jon Ashworth MP called into the Lunch Club at the Linwood Centre on Saffron Lane.

The Lunch Club is run by Pink Lizzard, a community organisation that works with local young people. 



 

Jon said: “The lunch club provides a tasty and filling meal. It is great that local young people prepare the meal and do a fabulous job in the kitchen.”

The Lunch Club is open every Friday afternoon


 
In the photo; (left to right) Chantelle, Ady (who runs Pink Lizzard), Jon, Shante, Remi and Matthew
In the photo; (left to right) Chantelle, Ady (who runs Pink Lizzard), Jon, Shante, Remi and Matthew
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First Mangoes, next Paan?

Monday June 16 2014

Jon Ashworth MP expresses concern over the proposed EU ban on Indian paan. Reports in India over the weekend have suggested that paan could be next to be banned by the EU.

The Hindustan Times reported over the weekend that the EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) annual report warned of consistent cases of salmonella contamination of paan from the country.

Paan is a betel leaf plan that is eaten largely by Gujarati and Bengali communities, and is also used during religious ceremonies and for religious displays.

Jon has been contacted by local businesses, who raised their concerns over news that the EU may impose a ban. On Sunday 15 June he also visited the Nazir Pan House at 1 Linton Street (off Evington Lane) in Leicester to ask the owner’s views on the proposed ban and taste paan for himself.


 

Jon said: “There are a number of businesses across Leicester that sell paan such as Nazir in Evington, They rely on the import of the leaves, which I tried for myself when I visited on Sunday. This ban could have a huge effect on businesses and residents in Leicester, especially in the wake of the recent mango ban.”

Apparently, EU inspectors will be sent to India in September to investigate the matter further.

Jon commented further: “I recognise that we need to take the issue of salmonella contamination very seriously, and it needs to be addressed. But I would urge the Government to clarify its position urgently, and work closely with British businesses and regulators to find a solution. I have today contacted the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to seek clarification of the present situation.”


 
Jon Ashworth at Nazir Paan House’
Jon Ashworth at Nazir Paan House
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Jon Ashworth MP officially launches Bereavement to Achievement Project

Friday June 6 2014

Jon was at Shama Women’s Centre to launch a ground breaking bereavement counselling support project for black minority ethnic women in the City.

This two year project, which is funded by the National Lottery, will provide a holistic approach in supporting black minority ethnic women who are suffering from the trauma of bereavement of a loved one.

Jon stated: “As a supporter of the Shama Women’s Centre and the much needed work it does for our communities, I am pleased to launch this new project. This multi-agency service will hopefully increase the uptake of bereavement counselling among black minority ethnic women.”

The project will provide early interventions to help overcome long term mental health conditions. Shama Women’s Centre will work closely with health agencies, including the Laura Centre, University Hospitals Leicester Bereavement Services and Leicester Partnership Trust, and a range of other community and faith organisations.

Khudeja Amer-Sharif, the Centre Coordinator, commented: “Women will be able to access the service either direclty or through referrals from health agencies. They will benefit from one to one and group counselling sessions with multi-lingual bereavement support counselling workers.”

 
Jon speaks at the launch with (left to right) Cllr Manjula Sood MBE, Yasmin Nathani (Chair of Shama Women’s Centre) and Khudeja Amer-Sharif (Shama Women’s Centre Coordinator)
“Uniquely this project will address the whole wellbeing of bereaved black minority ethnic women through a range of activities including confidence building workshops, alternative therapies such as aromatherapy, reflexology, access to a gym and sauna  and a free on site crèche.”

To help bereaved women develop their confidence and skills a range of training and into work support will also be provided by Shama Women’s Centre. Those with language barriers will be able to attend ESOL classes.

Jon Ashworth was joined at the official launch by local Councillors and Health and community organisations supporting the project, such as the Laura Centre, University Hospitals Leicester Bereavement Services and Voluntary Action Leicestershire.
 
Jon with everyone at the Official Launch
Photo left: Jon speaks at the launch with (left to right) Cllr Manjula Sood MBE, Yasmin Nathani (Chair of Shama Women’s Centre) and Khudeja Amer-Sharif (Shama Women’s Centre Coordinator), Photo aboe, Jon with everyone at the Official Launch
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Jon Ashworth MP contacts Home Office regarding passport delays

Thursday June 5 2014

Jon Ashworth MP has written to the Immigration Minister highlighting the numerous delays that have been experienced with the application process.

Despite submitting their passports and documents on time, many constituents have still experienced significant delays in the processing of their applications. This has led to many cases of Jon’s constituents facing anxious and stressful waiting times.

Such delays have been noted across the country, with long delays resulting in significant loses financially and logistically. 



 

Jon said: “It is deeply concerning that so many people are experiencing significant delays with their passport applications.”

“Even when people have submitted their passports and documents on time, such delays have led to financial losses, unnecessary stress and worry, and significant disruption of plans.”


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Jon Ashworth MP contacts Home Office regarding passport delays
 
 
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