Monthly Archives: December 2009

An Introduction

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John Gummer to stand down as MP for Suffolk Coastal

John Gummer today announced that he will be stepping down as Conservative MP for Suffolk Coastal at the next General Election. John has enjoyed a long and high-profile political career in which he progressed through the ranks from junior whip to … Continue reading

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A time for reflection and gratitude

As I sit here preparing for Christmas with family and friends, my thoughts turn to those who will be have a very different kind of Christmas time. Lance Corporal Adam Drane was only 23 years old when he died last … Continue reading

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Who will be the next MP for West Suffolk?

At the end of November, Richard Spring announced that he was stepping down as Conservative MP for West Suffolk at the next General Election. Richard has had a great political career but above all should be recognised as an outstanding constituency … Continue reading

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Maintaining Social Priorities

I am delighted to hear that David Cameron has pledged to continue to support children’s hospices section 64 funding after the next election.

It is a matter of public shame that children’s hospices in the UK receive less than 20% of their funding from public or statutory sources, whereas adult hospices are funded publicly to over 35%. Children’s hospices don’t just provide palliative and end of life care but also offer a wide range of support and counselling services to children’s families. Their need for public support is in many ways even greater than adult hospices.

Providing help to children and the families of children with life limiting conditions is a cause that crosses political boundaries, just as the terrible grief that comes with the loss of a child is also something that transcends social divisions.

I am privileged to have been able to serve East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) for the last 5 years as a trustee. EACH serves over 300 families a year at its 3 hospice sites in Milton, Quidenham and Ipswich as well as in the community. EACH enjoys enormous popular support in the region and some 75% of its income is generated by ordinary men, women and children through friends groups, workplace giving, Santa runs and the like. EACH is also establishing itself as a commissioned care provider for PCTs and social services and this provides around 10% of operating income.

Section 64 funding (which was provided to “plug the gap” when lottery funding ended) provides a baseline funding stream that enables the charity to fund a number of core services. Without it, EACH would not be able to provide the quality and extent of care it now is able to deliver. The Conservative commitment to maintain this funding through any transition in government is welcome news indeed.

Read the news from Children’s Hospices UK here. Continue reading

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