September 2018: Your Local MP

August 31 2018

Amazing folk of east Bristol

SUMMER parliamentary recess provides me with a great opportunity to get out and about in the constituency and spend time with residents to hear about the issues that matter to them. In recent weeks, I have visited a number of organisations in Fishponds and met with many people living in the constituency to enable me to better represent them when parliament returns in September.

One such visit was to Bristol Baby Bank, a volunteer-led organisation based in Fishponds which collects and distributes baby items – such as clothes, prams and toys – to families that can’t afford them. They work closely with children’s centres, health visitors and other organisations who work with vulnerable families and have so far helped over 1200 families across Bristol.

Baby Bank Bristol is always on the lookout for volunteers and donations, so if you are in a position to help please do get in touch with them. Not only is their help invaluable to hundreds of families, but their work also helps reduce waste and promotes reuse of items that have often barely been used.

I also had the time to visit a little-known Fishponds historical attraction – the Glenside Hospital Museum.Set within the grounds of the former Bristol Lunatic Asylum, which was open from 1861 to 1994, the museum houses fascinating collections relating to the history of mental health care. I was particularly interested to learn that The Dower House (the big yellow building seated high on the hill above the M32) used to be a Learning Disability Hospital and housed women and young girls with learning disabilities from 1908 until 1986. I would encourage anyone with an interest in the history of mental health care to pay the museum visit.

As well as my regular constituent surgeries, this month I also held a surgery at the Vassal Centre with the help of Carers Support Centre, a charity which provides support, information and advice to carers of any age living in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire areas. The constituents I met with had a broad range of care commitments and a whole host of issues that worried them, such as social care cuts, benefit entitlements, and a lack of community transport and support services.

The thing that all those carers I met had in common was a truly humbling sense of selflessness, dedication and resilience. The Labour Party has long campaigned for better support for carers, and spending time talking to those who face the obstacles that come with caring every day reminded me just how important it is to keep fighting for them in parliament.

My recent visits have reminded me just what a fantastic range of organisations we have in our local community and reinstilled the pride I feel in representing the people of east Bristol in parliament.

If you have a suggestion of a local organisation you’d like me to visit, or would like to book an appointment at one of my surgeries, please get in touch with my office on 0117 939 3135 or email kerry.mccarthy.mp@parliament.uk