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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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Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth is Cooking up a Curry

Friday September 27 2013

As part of the battle to bring the Curry Capital of Britain back to its home in Leicester, Jon Ashworth is cooking a curry at Chutney Ivy.

Chutney Ivy is one of four restaurants in the City hoping to bring the Crown back to Leicester.

Speaking before his cooking lesson from Shaf Islam, chef and owner of Chutney Ivy, Jon said: “The Crown of Curry Capital of Britain should return to its rightful home in Leicester. Six years is far too long for it to be away. I’m looking forward to my lesson with Shaf although I doubt I will match the extremely high standards of Chutney Ivy.”

The Curry Capital Awards is now in its eleventh year and Leicester faces competition from 16 towns and cities in the country including last year’s winner Bradford.

Shaf Islam stated: “I’m delighted that my restaurant was chosen to represent our fabulous City and I was pleased to be able to pass on some of my skills and tips to our local MP.”

Under the tutelage of Shaf Islam Jon cooked Jingha Rowshne for starters, which are huge king prawns marinated in olive oil, garlic butter and chillies, gently cooked in cream, spring inions and fresh coriander. For the main course Jon cooked Chicken Jalfrezi.

The Curry Capital Awards raises funds for charities that help the poor and malnourished through the Curry Tree Charitable Fund, which this year has chosen ‘Find your Feet’.

Jon under the watchful eye of Shaf
Photo above, Jon under the watchful eye of Shaf, photo right top, Jon serves up his Chicken Jalfrezi, right below, Jon and Shaf with their Jingha Rowshne
Jon commented: “It will be great if Leicester can win this year’s competition but the fundraising for Find your Feet will enable the charity to support rural communities in India, Nepal, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Find Your Feet helps families to grow more food, earn an income and speak out on issues that matter to them. ”
Jon serves up his Chicken Jalfrezi
Jon and Shaf with their Jingha Rowshne
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Jon Ashworth MP drops in at the Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

Friday September 27 2013

Jon visited the Coffee Morning at Saffron Sure Start.

Jon said: “The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is Macmillan Cancer Support’s biggest fundraising event and last year raised a record £15 million. I always attend a Macmillan Coffee Morning and take time out of my day for what really matters.”

“Everyone going along to a coffee morning will be raising money to make sure everyone has a Macmillan team in their corner - from diagnosis, through treatment, and afterwards. That way, no one will have to face cancer alone.”

The first National World’s Biggest Coffee Morning was in 1991 when 2,600 people registered to hold coffee mornings across the country. Since then it has raised over £75 million for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Sarah Smith, Manager of Barnardo’s Saffron Sure Start, said: “We’re very proud of all our parents who have worked hard to make sure today’s event a success and it was great being part of what was a great fund raising achievement.”

Jon with Mo and Samantha
Jon with Jade and her daughter Nevaeh
Photo top, Jon with Mo and Samantha, photo bottom, Jon with Jade and her daughter Nevaeh
Jon guessing the number of coffee beans in the jar
Photo above Jon guessing the number of coffee beans in the jar
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Jon Ashworth MP visits Leicestershire Aids Support Services

Friday September 13 2013

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, visited Leicestershire AIDS Support Services (LASS) on Friday 13 September.

LASS was founded in 1987, and provides testing and support services in Leicestershire for those with HIV and AIDS. Earlier this year the organisation won a GlaxoSmithKline Impact Award, for which there were 419 applications. The organisation won the award for its contribution to improving health in Leicestershire, particularly through its rapid HIV testing service. The prize includes £30,000 in funding and a training and development programme run by the King’s Fund.

Jon said: “I’m glad I was able to see all the work that LASS does in Leicester. Support services are so important in maintaining health, and it’s great to see such a committed team of volunteers in Leicester working on HIV and AIDS issues. The testing services are particularly helpful, as they allow LASS to help people who wouldn’t normally seek assistance for these conditions.”

LASS undertakes research with Africa Health Policy Network, looking at the effect of training community volunteers on the uptake of rapid HIV testing among different communities in Leicester.

Juliet Kisob (Direct Services Manager), Jon and Jenny Hand (Chief Executive Officer)
The organisation’s current international patron is Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Jenny Hand, the Chief Executive Officer at LASS, commented: “Jon’s visit is very important to LASS and all our work. On a daily basis staff are seeing people with some very complex issues because of loss of employment, the impact of bedroom tax, benefit changes, immigration, mental health and other linked health conditions, poor diet and general health. Getting tested and knowing your HIV status is a critical message for everyone and will help reduce late diagnosis. Our biggest local challenge is the stigma and discrimination that still exists.”
Jon Ashworth MP with service users and volunteers

Photo left Juliet Kisob (Direct Services Manager), Jon and Jenny Hand (Chief Executive Officer), photo above, Jon with service users and volunteers

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Clockwise Credit Union wins Funding Grant from Barclays Community Finance Fund

Friday September 13 2013

Clockwise Credit Union Ltd is celebrating its success having been selected from dozens of applications from across the UK to be awarded £21,000 from The Barclays Community Finance Fund, to support its next step towards sustainability and growth.

Transact, the national forum for financial inclusion, which manages the fund, worked with a panel of independent experts to reduce nearly 80 high quality applications to just six successful projects.

The Credit Unions, which have nearly 20,000 members collectively and 200 volunteers, is the lead bidder in a consortium of five credit unions across the East Midlands. The group are already working together with social housing providers to create money management products ahead of the introduction of Universal Credit.

Jo Dowson at Clockwise Credit Union Ltd, said: “These funds will enable us to market the services of all five credit unions and challenge stereotypes of credit unions as ‘the poor man’s bank’.


Barclays has committed £1 million over 3 years to the Barclays Community Finance Fund to support the delivery of affordable credit. As part of our commitment to financial inclusion, the fund is targeted at organisations that support individuals who may otherwise be restricted to accessing high cost credit or taking out illegal loans.

Tim Kiy, Corporate Affairs Director for UK Retail Banking at Barclays, commented: “The applications this year were of a particularly high standard with many innovative and interesting project ideas, which made it extremely difficult to shortlist them down to those we could fund.

This is a great opportunity for Clockwise Credit Union to use the funding to market the five credit unions and the panel were particularly impressed with the collaborative approach. We hope that the experience they gain this year will provide important knowledge that can be shared by the sector.”

Projects are funded over 12 months to develop and continue work to increase access to affordable credit.

Nicky Perrins (Barclays Branch City Centre Branch), Jane Scoular (Barclays Bank City Centre Branch), Jo Dowson (Clockwise General Manager) and Jon
Photo, L-R, Nicky Perrins (Barclays Bank City Centre Branch), Jane Scoular (Barclays Bank City Centre Branch), Jo Dowson (Clockwise General Manager) and Jon

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Local MP Jon Ashworth attended the cheque presentation and added: “This award is great news for Clockwise and the other four Credit Unions. I have worked closely with Clockwise to promote its work in my Constituency. It is essential that people have access to affordable credit. The innovative products Clockwise is developing will help to keep people out of debt and up to date with their rent.”

Leicester’s first Table Tennis Centre officially opens

Friday September 6 2013

The Centre at 83 Knighton Fields Road East is owned and run by Knighton Park Table Tennis Club. The Club purchased the building last year with a grant of £398,000 from Sport England and the English Table Tennis Association.

The club sold its former premises on Avenue Road Extension to help fund the conversion of the building which has cost in excess of £110,000. Work commenced on the conversion of the building in September and the Club moved in at Christmas.

Leicester is a ‘hot spot’ for table tennis. The grant was secured on the back of the very successful PING LEICESTER which took place in the run up to the 2012 Olympic Games.

The venue was formally opened by Richard Scruton, who is vice-chairman of the English Table Tennis Association. Other guests included Jon Ashworth MP, Councillor Clair (Leicester’s Assistant Mayor for Sport), and local Councillors Bill Shelton and Elly Cutkelvin.

The new venue has a 35m long playing area which is sufficient for 10 tables. In addition there is a viewing area, kitchen, showers, changing rooms, disabled facilities and car parking.

Jon Ashworth commented: “The facilities at the new Centre are excellent. I know that membership has risen by nearly 50% since moving to the new building and that the Club has great plans for the future which will hopefully see satellite clubs across the City.”

Knighton Park Table Tennis Club is an English Table Tennis Association Premier Club and Clubmark accredited.

Players from the GB Paralympic Team and the Brazil Paralympics Team played a demonstration match at the official opening. The GB team included Will Bayley who won a silver medal at the Paralympics Games in 2012.
Jon with David Morley (Chairman of Knighton Park Table Tennis Club) and the Brazilian Paralympic Team.
Jon with David Morley (Chairman of Knighton Park Table Tennis Club) and the Brazilian Paralympic Team.

Click photo for enlargement
David Morley, Chairman of Knighton Park Table Tennis Club, stated: “We are absolutely delighted with the grant award and our new premises. All members of the club are looking forward to an exciting future.”
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