Just a quick catch up on some constituency visits over the last week:
– met with Catch 22 who have a project running in Haringey where they have taken on Intensive Intervention with 50 young people who need a huge amount of support to help them stay out of trouble. I met two of the young people – who really are benefiting from the support they are getting as well as the organisation key people nationally and the lead for the local project.
– met with the Tavistock who are working in partnership with Haringey on mental health support services. Very interesting meeting and an opportunity (I think) for integration between the Tavi and the work on Early Intervention. The government program to get a 100,000 of the most chaotic families back into work is absolutely right – but very challenging. I suggested the Tavi perhaps look into whether there was any support they could give if mental health issues were a barrier to success in any of those families.
– I met with about 20 young people who are concerned in case Haringey decide their youth clubs are a soft target for cuts. Given that I just read that their Communication and Policy budget is only being cut by £124,000 – it is clear that the hard choices are being ducked and no doubt they will focus on the soft targets – rather than really dealing with the structural faults. I am meeting with the Council Leader later this week to discuss this.
– I attended Holocaust Memorial Day at Bruce Castle – always moving. A huge thank you to all who every year make sure that this is not only done – but done extremely well. I was talking to one of the holocaust survivors in attendance – and that is always such a privilege. This year also marked the opening of an exhibition there of portraits of Haringey’s Holocaust Survivors – worth a visit for sure.
– I went to Cranwood (old peoples’ home) to see the children who come in from St James’s Church every Sunday to sing, play their instruments and generally engage with the residents. Clearly both the elderly and the children enjoy this hugely and it benefits both. There are rumours that Haringey may look to close Cranwood – with the obvious concerns that brings to staff, residents and their relatives. I have not heard about this – but will now investigate.
– went to the Big Green Bookshop for the launch of the 3rd edition of Zoom Rockman’s comic. When I chose the illustration from all the entries for my Christmas card competition this year – and it was Zoom’s – I had no idea he was already a recognised artist!
– As for Parliament and Government – that was a week in politics with so much happening – I wouldn’t know where to begin – Alan Johnson to Andy Coulson to Ed Balls – to Tony Blair – so am not going to try. For myself, many governmental meetings, speeches and other meetings – too many to list. Coming week – Home Office and Equality Orals – Monday and Thursday respectively. Tuesday am appearing before both APPG on Sexuality and Home Affairs Select Committee on a range of issues.
– an apologies for lack of blogging generally – am struggling to find time – but don’t want to just give it up so am just working on a when I can basis – but not very satisfactory