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Mike Gapes MP listened to Dr Martin Stern who survived the Holocaust as a child and met Ivor Perl BEM, a Holocaust survivor and Bernd Koschland, who came to the UK on the Kindertransport, at the launch event in Parliament for Holocaust Memorial Day 2018.

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is commemorated each year on 27 January – the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death and concentration camp. HMD provides an opportunity for everyone to learn lessons from the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. HMD asks people to apply these lessons to the present day to create a safer, better future.

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) promotes and supports HMD activities across the UK. Each year HMDT selects a theme around which HMD activities can focus. The theme for 2018 is The power of words.

Martin spoke movingly about his experiences of being arrested by Dutch police at school when he was just five years old, along with his little sister Erica. Together they survived the Holocaust, having been sent to Westerbork and Theresienstadt concentration camps.

Reflecting on the theme for HMD 2018 The power of words, Martin said: ‘Words can strengthen the thin shield of civilisation or shatter it. Civilised words can civilise, educate. Uncivilised words can consign us to the depths.’

Mike said: ‘Martin, Ivor and Bernd have used their words to powerfully speak about the importance of marking Holocaust Memorial Day – a day when we remember the millions who were affected by the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. I want to encourage people in Ilford South to mark HMD on 27 January 2018.’

Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: ‘We were delighted that Mike showed his support for Holocaust Memorial Day. We hope that many more people in Ilford South will use the free resources available through our website to organise activities for next year’s HMD – adding to the record 7,700 activities which took place for HMD 2017.’

Mike met with Ivor Perl BEM (pictured), who at aged only 11 was taken to Auschwitz. Ivor survived with help from his older brother, the only members of their family to survive the Holocaust.

Mike also met Bernd Koschland (pictured), who moved from Germany on the Kindertransport in March 1939. Bernd now speaks about the Holocaust and believes that memories must be passed on to the next generation and not forgotten.

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Mike Gapes MP meets survivors of the Holocaust at launch of resources for Holocaust Memorial Day 2018

Mike Gapes MP listened to Dr Martin Stern who survived the Holocaust as a child and met Ivor Perl BEM, a Holocaust survivor and Bernd Koschland, who came to the...

Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South, has attended an event in parliament held by the Richmond Group of Charities, a collaboration of 14 of the largest health and care charities in England. 

The event was held to raise awareness of the needs of people who have serious long-term physical and mental health conditions like diabetes, dementia, depression or cancer, for which there is no cure.

In England there are an estimated 15 million people living with one or more long-term health conditions – a quarter of our population. Mike pledged support for people living with long-term conditions across the country. This includes 18,598 people in Ilford South – 14 per cent of the local population.

Mike spoke to people living with different health conditions to discuss their experiences and what would make a difference to their lives.

Clare Allom, a member of South Tyneside Diabetes UK Group, said, "We’re campaigning locally to try to convince service providers that it's important to have exercise sessions suitable for those with long term conditions: a place to feel safe and comfortable where support and encouragement is offered. This hopefully would prevent those with long term conditions from relapsing, entering hospital services again and putting pressure on the NHS."

Mike also spoke to the Partnership Director of the Richmond Group of Charities, Dr Charlotte Augst, about the five things the group say that government must prioritise in order to help people with long-term conditions. These are:

  1. Timely access to high quality health and social care
  2. Increased funding and more sustainable models for health and care
  3. Sufficient numbers of health and care staff
  4. Effective coordination of services, staff and data
  5. Investment in prevention 

Charlotte said: ‘People with long-term health conditions are the core users of our NHS and social care services, yet too often they struggle with services that are difficult to access, do not focus on preventing things getting worse, and are not joined up.

It was good to see so many MPs join us today to listen to the experiences and views of people living with long term conditions and to pledge their support to our collective work to enable people to live as well as possible for as long as possible.’

Mike says: “The Richmond Group of Charities have highlighted that many people with long term conditions are still not getting the care and support they need. Everyone living with long term health condition deserves good quality health and care, and I’ll campaign in Parliament and my constituency to ensure this is the case.”

The Richmond Group of Charities is a coalition of 14 of the leading health and social care organisations in the voluntary sector. They help people of all ages who have serious long-term physical and mental health conditions like diabetes, dementia, depression or cancer.

Together they work to influence health and social care policy and practice, with the aim of improving care and support for the people living with long term conditions they represent.

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Mike Gapes MP attends Richmond Group of Charities parliamentary drop-in event on long-term conditions

Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South, has attended an event in parliament held by the Richmond Group of Charities, a collaboration of 14 of the largest health and care charities...

Mike Gapes MP (Ilford South) has started the new Parliamentary term highlighting the importance of animal welfare by meeting with the RSPCA and their inspectors at the House of Commons.

Since being founded in 1824, the RSPCA has established itself as the leading organisation on animal welfare in England and Wales and its influence has spread world-wide. Their work encompasses companion animals, farm animals, wildlife and animals used in research, and includes education and campaigning, as well as enforcement, rescue and rehabilitation.

In 2016 alone, the RSPCA received over 1.1 million calls to its cruelty line and investigated just under 160,000 complaints of animal cruelty.

Mike Gapes MP said: “I’m proud to support the RSPCA and the work that their inspectors do to protect animals on the ground in Ilford. It was fantastic to meet some of their hard working inspectors and to thank them on behalf of the animal lovers in our area for all that they do.

“I know how important animal welfare issues are to my constituents and it is an issue that I intend to take up on their behalf in this Parliament. I am looking forward to working with the RSPCA to ensure that animal welfare is also a key part of the Brexit debate and that the protection of the idea that animals are sentient beings continues to be enshrined in UK law after we leave the EU.”

David Bowles, Head of Public Affairs at the RSPCA, said: “It is always a pleasure to be able to highlight the work that our outstanding team of inspectors do day in, day out, twenty four hours a day. Despite having limited resources the RSPCA continues to be the leading enforcement organisation for animal welfare in England and Wales, as the fact that we receive a call to our Cruelty Line every 27 seconds shows.

“The RSPCA has been working to improve the laws that protect animals since we were founded in 1824. As the UK exits the European Union there are all sorts of animal welfare issues that we need to work with politicians to make progress on; from protecting animal sentience to working to end live animal exports, from reforming the Common Agricultural Policy to encourage better farm animal welfare to improving food labelling.”

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Mike Gapes MP meets RSPCA inspectors in Parliament

Mike Gapes MP (Ilford South) has started the new Parliamentary term highlighting the importance of animal welfare by meeting with the RSPCA and their inspectors at the House of Commons....


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