Steve congratulates young fishing champion

Twenty-four young anglers from across the UK were recognised at the House of Commons yesterday (15 November) in the Fishing for Schools Champions Awards – and MP for Ealing North, Stephen Pound, was on hand to congratulate Kieran Jones of the Alec Reed Academy.

Fishing for Schools is an initiative run by The Countryside Alliance Foundation, the charitable arm of the Countryside Alliance. It provides short angling courses at schools across the country, to aid the education of 12 to 18-year-olds who may not respond to traditional classroom-based learning but flourish when you get them outside onto the water. It celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.

Many of the youngsters who fish through Fishing for Schools have physical, learning or behavioural difficulties which mean they are not always in mainstream education. Each school was asked to nominate one child whom they thought had achieved the most through the course to be their champion and it is these youngsters who were commended at the reception on Wednesday.

Kieran Jones was nominated by his teacher Nathan Bird, who said: “Kieran is one of our many success stories. He has turned around his behaviour, attendance and attitude towards learning. Kieran started in YR7 and got off to a rather rough start, he soon developed the reputation of an able student but one who chose to misbehave. Teachers were refusing to teach him due to his challenging behaviour, he began a bespoke programme which includes fishing and was diagnosed as having severe ADHD. He has now come to terms with his condition and continues to work with the staff to improve his focus and behaviours.”

Stephen Pound MP said: “I was delighted to attend the Fishing for Schools Champions Awards and meet Kieran. He and the other young champions recognised through the awards are truly inspirational. I thoroughly support the aims of Fishing for Schools.

Fishing for Schools director Charles Jardine added: “These students are a tremendous example of what is achieved through Fishing for Schools. Many of them have had challenging school careers but fishing is a sport without barriers and seems to have struck a chord with these students, offering something they can achieve and benefit from and teaching all manner of life skills along the way. I congratulate them all.”

 

Fishing for Schools is administered by The Countryside Alliance Foundation and works with schools across the country to offer short courses in angling which are geared to the National Curriculum and aid education. The courses incorporate subjects like weights and measures, biology, geography and much more. For more information go to http://www.countryside-alliance.org/the-foundation/fishing-for-schools/

Climate Change Campaign

In the run up to General Election and following several emails from constituents, I added my name to the Divest Parliament pledge. The full text outlined in the pledge can be found herein but the essence of the pledge centres on the profound recognition that in order to limit global temperatures to well below 2 degrees C – as outlined in the landmark Paris agreement in December 2015 – the vast majority of fossil fuels must be kept in the ground.

This recognition has important ramifications for public and private investments, particularly large pension funds that collectively invest billions in companies focused on developing new sources and extracting from existing fossil fuel reserves such as BP, Shell and Exxon Mobil. These investments risk becoming ‘stranded assets’, meaning they will be essentially worthless as the world continues its acceleration towards a low-carbon global economy.

The pledge is calling for the Parliamentary Contributions Pension Fund, the pension fund for all current and former MPs, to recognise the environmental, financial and social risks posed by continued investment in fossil fuel companies and to gradually shift these investments into low-carbon and ethical alternatives.

It is vitally important that MPs align the climate policies of our political parties with our personal investments in the pension fund at the earliest opportunity, the tragic climate events throughout the summer have underscored the urgency for doing this. I will be working with MPs across the political spectrum to make sure that trustees of the MPs pension fund act in accordance with the demands of the pledge.

This summer has seen glimpses of an exciting and sustainable future, with 70% of the UK’s electricity supply coming from low-carbon sources. Off the coast of Liverpool, the largest wind turbines in the world have recently been installed (generating even more power) and offshore projects are now being approved at record low prices, which will lower energy bills for customers in the future. Further afield, the world’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide China, has already surpassed its 2020 targets for the installation of solar panels.

To find out more about the Divest Parliament campaign, please visit their website: https://gofossilfree.org/uk/divest-parliament