Henry Smith MP, Crawley Bulletin, September 2015
Throughout September I'm pleased to be supporting Blood Cancer Awareness Month. I've been working with Bloodwise, the UK’s biggest blood cancer charity, dedicated to improving the lives of patients with all types of blood cancer, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
A few years ago I lost my own mother to AML, a blood cancer, so this is an issue particularly close to my heart.
Earlier this year, I hosted an event in the House of Commons to mark World Cancer Day, on 4th February. This September, Blood Cancer Awareness Month, Bloodwise will be seeking to raise the profile of blood cancers.
This month, the charity changed its name to Bloodwise, having previously been known as Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. The new name was chosen to reflect the charity’s work for patients with all blood cancers, and unites everything being done to beat them, from world leading research and thought leadership to patient support services and fundraising.
Every year in the UK 14,000 people tragically lose their lives to blood cancer; this is 38 people taken from us each day. There are 137 different types of blood cancer, and combined, it's the UK’s third biggest cancer killer.
Around 38,000 people each year are diagnosed with blood cancer or a related disorder.
Bloodwise are highlighting the fact that blood cancer is actually comprised of 137 individual diseases, and are putting this message up on 3,000 billboards around the country.
As part of their awareness programme, I was delighted to welcome Bloodwise to Parliament, where I listened to members of their research team talk about the vital work done.
Studies undertaken by Bloodwise have revealed that for patients, the lack of awareness adds significantly to the stress, uncertainty and worry that comes with a cancer diagnosis – low awareness also means that many patients, friends and families simply didn’t know about the organisations and support services that exist to help them.
When a loved one has cancer it's stressful enough, therefore, it's important to be aware of the assistance available.
While the charity’s name has been changed, its central purpose remains constant – to champion the needs of patients by influencing relevant policy and decision makers.
Its communities give blood cancer patients, and their families a place where they can find support and information, sharing their journey with other people who can relate to what they are going through.
For additional information on Bloodwise, please visit: www.bloodwise.org.uk. If you'd like to speak with someone from the charity, please call 020 7504 2200.
Syria: The UK is the second largest bilateral provider of aid to Syria (after the US). I’ve spoken in the House of Commons about the importance of countries in the region playing a role, and I have since been contacted by the Saudi Arabian embassy in London about the assistance they are providing.
Supporting the NSPCC by talking PANTS: Backing the NSPCC’s Underwear Rule. For more information, please visit: www.nspcc.org.uk/underwear. If you’re under 18 years of age and need to talk to someone for advice, in confidence, please call ChildLine, free, on 0800 1111.
Animal Welfare: Writing ahead of chairing my first meeting since being elected to lead the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare – pleased to welcome MPs and Peers from differing sides of the political spectrum.
Sussex Community Foundation Shoreham Air Show Fund: Grateful to local emergency services for their work in the most difficult of circumstances responding to the air accident in August. To donate to the fund providing assistance to those affected, please call 01273 409446 or visit: http://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/sussexgiving/shorehamairfund
National Citizen Service: Joined the Crawley Town Community Foundation in launching their NCS programme at the Broadfield. For further information on their NCS Autumn Programme starting on Friday 23rd October, please call 01233 600142 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Education Funding: Joined with MPs from across the county in meeting with the Education Secretary, continuing to press for a fair deal for funding for schools in Crawley and West Sussex.
Blood Pressure UK: Urging people to check their blood pressure as part of ‘Know Your Numbers! Week’ – I’m grateful to the volunteers who enabled free blood pressure checks to take place at 1,000 Pressure Stations around the country.
Breast Cancer Now: Helping raise the profile of Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest breast cancer charity – formed after the merger of two existing breast cancer charities. I’m supporting Wear It Pink, on Friday 23rd October.
Credit unions: Backing the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions. I’m always pleased to support the West Sussex Credit Union here in Crawley.
Restaurant tipping consultation: Many people in Crawley work in the hospitality industry and it is right that they get a fair deal. The consultation is open until 10th November.
Muscular Dystrophy UK: Highlighting Muscular Dystrophy UK's work supporting families with children who have Duchenne muscular dystrophy on World Duchenne Awareness Day (Monday, 7th September).
Conservatives for Britain: Pleased to join with parliamentary colleagues and supporters around the country in calling for fundamental change for the UK’s relationship with the EU – before the in/out referendum that will be delivered by this Government by the end of 2017.
Wild dolphins: In my role as Co-Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare, I wrote to the President of Indonesia to call on the country to end the practise of keeping wild dolphins in small swimming pools and in trucks to use in travelling circuses. Please click here if you’d like to read the full text of the letter.
Animal Welfare: Chaired the Group for the first time – after the meeting I was delighted to meet Chief Petty Officer Allen Parton, the founder of Hounds for Heroes, an organisation which provides assistance dogs to disabled members of our Armed Forces and Emergency Services.
Come on England!: Supporting England at the Rugby World Cup! I was lucky to get up close with the Webb Ellis Cup earlier this year – let’s hope it will be given to England Captain Chris Robshaw after the final on 31st October (failing that, another UK home team)!
As Member of Parliament for Crawley, please do not hesitate to let me know if I can assist; either by writing to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, calling my office on 01293 934554, or via email directly at: email@example.com
To keep up to date with my various activities in Crawley and up in Westminster, please follow me via:
- Online: www.henrysmith.info
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/HenrySmith4Crawley
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/HenrySmithMP
- YouTube: www.youtube.com/HenrySmithMP
My best wishes, as ever