MP COLUMN: Was great to get out and about in the community

Over the last few weeks, I have been using the time from the parliamentary recess from the party conferences to visit a number of exciting developments in my constituency of Wansbeck and South East Northumberland, and meet the fantastic people at the heart of them.

Monday, 25th October 2021, 6:00 am

One of these visits was to the DASH unit in Wansbeck hospital for their five-year anniversary and to look around their brand new state-of-the-art interactive training facilities. The dedicated and hardworking staff at the DASH unit were a pleasure to speak to and the unit itself is a brilliant asset for our NHS here in Wansbeck. I already look forward to returning in the next five years to see how much more progress has been made at a rapidly improving section of the hospital.

I was then over at the Wansbeck Valley Foodbank whose volunteers told me of concerns they have over mounting pressures on people’s incomes as a result of cuts to universal credit and rising living costs as we enter what is shaping up to be another extremely difficult winter period.

The volunteers at the food bank do a fantastic job but they are always in need of more supplies and helping hands. If you have the means to do so, please consider a donation that will be absolutely invaluable to a vulnerable family worrying how they will put food on the table and keep the heating on as the cold weather creeps in.

Alongside this I headed over to Seaton Deleval to spend time being shown around the new PPE factory that has been a vital source of equipment throughout the pandemic, keeping our frontline workers safe as they worked through the height of the pandemic.

I was taken aback at the scale of the operation at this fantastic development which is creating jobs and opportunities right here in Northumberland. It was great to learn about everything that’s going on there beyond the production of PPE, from medical records storage to mask recycling and the vast warehousing for equipment for the NHS across the North East and beyond.

This is just a snippet of the work that is going on in Wansbeck and the surrounding areas as we continue to recover from the pandemic. Alongside major developments such as Britishvolt and Ashington, Blyth and Tyne line there are positive signs for the region.