Summer in Ealing North – Gazette June 2018

Early summer in the sun and Ealing North comes out to play as only we can.

School fairs, carnivals, church fetes, allotment shows and every other reason for people of good will to gather together around the tombola stall with the sweet smell of fried onions in the background and the sound system lifting the spirits.

From the Hanwell to the Greenford Carnivals may only be a few weeks but what a vast range of experiences lie between the two dates.

One thing that all the gatherings have in common is the living breathing proof that community spirit is alive and thriving in our part of the world.

I may have been doing this job for a few years but never ever will I cease to be stunned and in awe of the extent of the dedication shown by volunteers who give so freely of their time to make such memorable occasions for the rest of us – whatever the weather. Carnival is a huge undertaking and there is always a need for more helpers but it is sometimes the smaller celebrations that stay in my mind – schools like St. Joseph’s, Mayfield, Springhallow, Edward Betham, St. Raphael’s and Hobbayne bring together parents, pupils and staff to show their pride in their school and to raise funds.

The miracle of street parties like those enjoyed in Devon Close, The Draytons and Grove Avenue show people reclaiming their roads and for just one day banishing traffic and dancing in the street as the song suggests. The annual fundraiser for The Brambles – held on the vast verdant lawns of the Holy Cross Rectory – brings together Scouts, Guides, the WI, Townswomen’s Guild and usually seems to arrange for a flyover by the RAF as they synchronise the summer fair with Her Majesty’s birthday.

Church fetes like that organised by St. Mary’s Northolt and the extraordinary achievement of St. Stephen’s in Cleveland Park really do lift the spirits just as they empty the wallet and yet again it is the dedicated few who bake the cakes, staff the stalls stand in the stocks to be soaked and keep the refreshments flowing as much as the fun. All this and Armed Forces Day to come – no wonder we need a rest after the summer season!

I cannot thank too strongly all those who come together to prove that community is so strong. Good people gathered together to do good and to have a good time. That’s what makes Ealing North such a wonderful place to live in and to represent.

Stephen Pound MP supports The Royal British Legion

Stephen Pound MP recently met with The Royal British Legion’s local Area Manager Ryan Allain to discuss support for the Armed Forces community in London.

The Royal British Legion is the country’s largest Armed Forces charity, and provides support for many thousands of veterans, serving personnel and their families. Stephen Pound MP attended a Legion event in Parliament to show support for the charity’s work, and met with the local Area Manager and other local staff to discuss current issues facing the Armed Forces community.

Legion research has found that the biggest issues currently experienced by working-age members of the UK ex-Service community include hearing loss and difficulty finding employment; among over-75s, physical health and care are among the most common problems. The Legion successfully campaigned for a £10m hearing loss fund, supports career transition through its Civvy Street website and delivers practical assistance through community outreach services and six care homes. A network of 16 high street ‘Pop In’ centres has also been developed to make it easier for beneficiaries to seek help.

Ryan Allain, the Legion’s Area Manager for London, said “I was delighted to see Stephen Pound MP and we were grateful that he took the time to drop in. The Royal British Legion provides lifelong support for the Armed Forces community – serving men and women, veterans and their families. This latest parliamentary event offered a great opportunity to spread the word about the range of services we provide, and it was a pleasure to discuss this in more detail with Stephen Pound MP”.

Stephen Pound MP added, “I enjoyed meeting staff from The Royal British Legion and learning more about the work being done in my local area. Members of the Armed Forces community make huge sacrifices in Service of our country and I am proud to support the work of the Legion in honouring the memory of the fallen and building a better future for the living.”