MP Nicky Morgan: Time to focus on the big issues
Well, I hope that you have had a fabulous Christmas break. Even if celebrating Christmas is not your thing, I hope you were able to enjoy a break from your normal routine and spend time with family and friends.
If you were working over Christmas, I hope you are now able to take some time off and, perhaps, indulge in some belated celebrations.
Last Sunday, I gave blood at a regular donor session at the Rosebery St Peter's Community Centre, in Loughborough. I was quite surprised when a Sunday donor session two days before Christmas was offered via the Blood Service website.
However, it was the fastest and most efficient session I think I have ever attended (and I have been donating since the mid-1990s) and a good thing to do amid the pre-Christmas rush. If you have been thinking about becoming a blood donor, or even signing up for the organ donor register, then you can find out more details at:
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As we look ahead to 2013, you might be thinking about making some changes in your life. Perhaps your Christmas has not been very festive.
MPs get asked questions on many different topics and one of the things our offices often do is to direct those who contact us to organisations and people who really know how to help.
If you are in an abusive relationship and have decided you have to deal with this, I recommend you call the Leicester Domestic Violence Integrated Project (www.dvirp.co.uk) or, in Loughborough, the domestic violence support charity, Living without Abuse (www.lwa.org.uk).
Alternatively, maybe you have decided that your relationship is not working and you need to think about separating.
One of my biggest areas of casework involves the Child Support Agency. The Government is changing the child maintenance system and I recommend you start with the new web app, Sorting out Separation: www.cmoptions.org/en/ sortingoutseparation/
And my 2013 resolutions? Firstly, I will continue my work in the mental health arena.
I want to continue the political focus on mental health and to build on the local partnership working which is already taking place, as well as working to ensure the best possible community and in-patient services are available to my constituents.
Secondly, I want to support schemes such as Loughborough College's Bridge to Work scheme which aims to make sure our young people are as ready to face the world of work, after their studies have finished, as possible.
All my conversations with local and national businesses show that young recruits need not just academic skills but also employability skills – the right attitude, a willingness to learn, the ability to gain experience through a work placement and an interest in the wider world count for a huge amount when a business or organisation is looking for its future employees.
The Prime Minister has said Britain is in a global race and I want to see our pupils and students winning in that global race.
Finally, I shall do my best to listen more, judge less and not rush to comment – not easy in the Twitter focused and e-mail avalanche kind of world we live in.
But it is important to try to focus on one or two bigger issues where being an MP really allows us the ability to highlight an issue in a way in which very few others can.
Happy New Year!