I know I speak for my constituents today in expressing my admiration for Her Majesty the Queen. Her seventy years of service to Britain as its monarch, to say nothing of her service during World War II prior to her coronation, represent a long lifetime of hard work and devotion to her country.
With Parliament in recess this week I have had the opportunity to go to a number of constituency events, at which residents told me how much they are looking forward to the Jubilee festivities. I am delighted to hear that there will be hundreds of street parties in Richmond and Kingston this weekend to mark this historic occasion. I hope Her Majesty enjoys the celebrations as much as the rest of us, and knows how much her constancy and strength have meant to her people.
VISIT TO CAMBRIAN COMMUNITY CENTRE
Last Friday I was invited to visit the Cambrian Community Centre and the Community Gym. Established in 1989, the gym became part of the Cambrian Centre in 2002, providing facilities for users of all abilities and ages in a comfortable atmosphere. Referrals come from within the community, including GPs and other health professionals.
At the Cambrian Community Centre I was pleased to join in an art class led by art teacher Claire McCormack. The students were working on Cezanne-style still life drawing and mixed media art responding to the invasion Ukraine. Their work will be featured in the upcoming Kingston Open Artists Studio event.
Other activities held regularly at Centre include: Cambrian Community Choir, papier mâché, English as a second language, Hartbeeps for babies and toddlers, and table tennis. I was delighted to hear more about this vibrant community hub and highly recommend Richmond residents look at their offerings here.
COFFEE IN HAM AND TEA IN RICHMOND
I was pleased to host a coffee morning at Cafe L'Amandine in Ham on Monday. We had a lively and wide-ranging discussion on housing, climate change, air quality, fly tipping on Ham Parade, access to Kew Gardens and Richmond Park for people with limited mobility, the Government's immigration policy, and the need to encourage more people to cycle while addressing poor behaviour by some cyclists.
I also spoke to Cafe L'Amandine owner Lamisse about the challenges her business is facing. She has cafes on Friars Stile Road in Richmond and on Kingston Road in Teddington as well as on Parkleys Parade in Ham. Her cafes serving hot food as well as hot drinks, pastries and fresh bread.
On Monday afternoon Richmond Charities invited me to a tea party at Hickey's Almshouses, where I was pleased to see some of residents I met last time I visited, and meet some new residents as well. I was struck once again by the beauty of the grounds and the happiness and comfort of the residents, who spoke to me about how lucky they felt to be there. If you know of someone over 65 in need of housing who may meet their eligibility requirements, please have a look at the Richmond Charities website to find more information. Richmond Charities is determined to help as many older people as possible live in security and dignity.
MAINTAINING OUR BRIDGES
On Monday, I wrote to Deputy Mayor of London, Seb Dance, to ask him to provide me with an update regarding the condition of Twickenham and Kew Bridges. Both structures are currently classed as in ‘fair’ condition, meaning they may require some minor restoration work in the next decade. It is crucial we maintain London’s infrastructure meticulously and proactively to prevent another bridge closure.
I urged Mr Dance to ensure that, given the ongoing closure of Hammersmith Bridge to vehicular traffic, any work be announced clearly in advance to allow residents good time to prepare and adjust their travel arrangements. I look forward to receiving a response from the Deputy Mayor and speaking with him again soon. I will share his response as soon as I have one. In the meantime you can see my letter here.
NHS JUBILEE WEEKEND CARE AND ADVICE
The long weekend is expected to be a busy time for the NHS, so whether you are having a Jubilee street party or heading off out for the day with family or friends, I want to remind you that NHS will be there for anyone who needs urgent care, including over the Jubilee weekend.
Please remember that A&E and 999 should only be used if the situation is life-threatening. By visiting NHS 111 online or dialing 111 on the phone you can get the right support and advice any time, day or night.
GPs are also offering more appointments, including evenings and over the weekend. Most appointments will be by telephone or through video consultation, but face to face appointments are still offered if necessary.
Pharmacies are open for minor conditions, which can be dealt with using at home or over-the-counter remedies. A list of pharmacies open over the Jubilee weekend is available here.
Residents struggling with their mental health, or worried about someone else, should call the crisis line on 0800 028 8000 at any time for support.
A new ‘come and have a chat about your health’ bus will be in Ham on Monday 6th June to answer health questions and offer free services to help residents remain healthy and well. The Health Bus will be parked in the car park of Ham Youth Centre in Ham Close from 10am until 4pm. The mobile pop-up health clinic will be able to provide you with general health advice for you or your family, blood pressure checks, help to stop smoking, information about the COVID-19 vaccine, including the offer of the vaccine if you have not had it yet or need one of your doses, and other information about immunisations.
SUMMER ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR IN RICHMOND
Makers United is once again hosting the Summer Arts and Crafts Fair at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College in Parkshot in Richmond. You will be able to see work from a number of different specialisms, including ceramics, jewellery and textiles. Makers United is a local group formed to support artists and artisans in running their businesses. The event will also feature hot and cold refreshments, live music by local performers and art and craft workshops.
The event will be on Saturday 18 June from 10:30 to 4:00 at RHACC. Entry for adults is £2.50 and children are free. You can book your your tickets and workshops here.
KINGSTON ARTISTS OPEN STUDIOS EVENT
KAOS is a group of professional, semi-professional and experienced artists living and working in the Kingston area. The voluntary group was set up in 2010 to raise the profile of and broaden access to the visual arts in Kingston. They are a diverse membership of artists and makers working out of their own spaces in and around the borough. Each year they open their studios to the public during two weekends in the summer for the annual Kingston Artists Open Studios.
Open Studios 2022 will be happening on the weekends of 11-12 and 18-19 June. Artists' studios will be open from 11am to 5pm each day.For more information see the Open Studios page.