As we start to get out and about more with the easing of lockdown restrictions, our fantastic local community needs our support more than ever. The last eighteen months have been a time of uncertainty and unease for many, but the coming weeks over the summer are an ideal opportunity to help our small, local and independent businesses recover from the pandemic, as well as vital local services that have struggled during this time.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to visit a range of businesses and services right across our community, from Kings International Ballet School, to our local Farmer’s Market at Middlefields Farm, with local produce and services on show, for example. Some have been open throughout the pandemic, working tirelessly to support their customers and those who depend on them, whilst others have been forced to close and continue to feel the economic impact of coronavirus.
One thing that all of these services have in common, however, is wanting to get back to some form of normality as soon as possible, and it’s great that I can start to get out and about across the constituency again to see and hear about some of the fantastic work that everyone has been doing. Whilst Parliament is in recess over the next six weeks, I’m looking forward to getting round to every corner of the constituency to meet as many of you as possible, it really is the best part of being an MP! We are truly lucky to have such a wide range of businesses and community services in our area, all of whom rely on our support.
At the beginning of July, I visited Battling Brook Primary School in Hinckley for their ‘Thank You NHS Day’. Year 6 pupil Myla originally had the idea for the event, and worked with Headteacher Mr Marsden, School Secretary Vicky and, of course, the pupils at Battling Brook to organise a wonderful celebration of our key NHS workers. In the school’s garden, pupils have been working hard on designing bricks for a special wall to celebrate the efforts of NHS workers, with a range of colourful designs on display. Seeing the school, and the houses nearby, decorated in rainbows and flags was a lovely reminder of the strong sense of community spirit which runs through our area.
I was also pleased that Leicestershire, after a long 1000-year wait, finally got a flag of its own last month, and I was pleased to be able to support the campaign. The flag was unveiled in Parliament Square by some of my fellow Leicestershire MPs, featuring a distinctive red fox and the county’s historic emblem. Having been the only English county without a flag for many years, I’m thrilled to see that the new design celebrates our long and rich history. I will certainly be buying one for my office!
Over these coming months, by shopping with our fantastic small, local and independent businesses, and supporting our local services, we can all play our part in helping to support our community recover from the pandemic. Wherever I go in our area, I’m always sure to find the distinctive Leicestershire sense of community spirit, and I believe it is this community which has been so important for so many of us during these hard times. This spirit reminds us that even during difficulty, there is always kindness, generosity and goodwill to be found in our community.
If you run a local business or a community project, please do get in contact with my office, as I would love to come down and hear about what you do and how you have a positive impact on our society.