Archive | October, 2011



New research has revealed that children who survive meningococcal disease (a type of meningitis) are:

  • five times more likely to have speech, communication and hearing problems
  • four times more likely to have mental health problems
  • six times more likely to have epilepsy
  • significantly more likely to have memory and IQ problems

The shocking findings have prompted the Meningitis Trust to launch a campaign to fight for the rights of the forgotten children who are currently suffering with the impact of the disease in the UK right now.

The ‘Meningitis Changes Futures’ campaign is calling for automatic assessments and appropriate educational support to become routine for every child who survives meningitis.

1 in 4 who survive will suffer some form of long-term after-effect. Many children may appear to have made a full recovery but are often left with psychological and neurological problems that may go unrecognised, as revealed by the research. These children can be left struggling at school and deprived of the educational support they need.

Sue Davie, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Trust, said: “Parents who have had to watch their child fight for their life when meningitis has struck now have to fight for their child to get the best chance in life.  Recognition of the needs of these children should be a right, not a lottery”.

After signing the Education Petition presented by the Meningitis Trust at the House of Commons, Toby Perkins, Labour Member of Parliament for Chesterfield and Shadow Minister for Small Business said:-

“The long term impact of Meningitis can be hugely damaging for so many people of all ages. The Meningitis Trust is doing a great job highlighting the barriers facing many of those who have been affected by this illness, from epilepsy and communication issues to mental illness and memory loss.

He added:-

I recognise the additional help required by so many people left vulnerable by Meningitis. This new research will help shine light into an issue largely ignored, hopefully bringing in a much more comprehensive support network for people all across the UK”.

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Local MP Supports Diabetes Testing at Launch of the Silver Star Challenge

Local MP Supports Diabetes Testing at Launch of the Silver Star Challenge

Toby Perkins MP joined the Opposition Leader Ed Miliband MP, along with other Members of Parliament, at the launch of the Silver Star Diabetes Challenge at the House of Commons. At the special MPs testing event, held on Wednesday 19th October, Toby took the quick and simple Type 2 diabetes test to help raise awareness of the need for public testing for the disease.

The NHS spends £1 million per hour on diabetes related illnesses and it is estimated that more than one million people in the UK are unaware that they have the condition. Mr. Perkins said ‘The diabetes test was so easy. It only takes two minutes and can save lives. I hope my constituents will also take the test and I am looking forward to finding out the results of the pedometer challenge in February’.

Special Guest Hari Dhillon, Dr. Michael Spence on BBC’s Holby City, joined in the effort to highlight the problem of diabetes worldwide, ‘The evening was a triumph and I was delighted to contribute to such a worthwhile cause’. 

Silver Star launched in January 2007 is a registered charity campaigning to raise diabetes awareness. The Charity runs Mobile Diabetes Units (MDU) that carry out important diabetes testing. They seek to promote culturally sensitive healthcare, with particular regard to the high prevalence of diabetes in the major towns and cities of Britain. The Units travel to local community centres, schools, work places and other organisations.

The Chairman of the Trustees for Silver Star, Dr Modhwadia said ‘The diabetes test is so quick and simple. I am delighted that so many MPs decided to take the test and be part of the Challenge. It will help raise awareness of this largely unseen health condition”

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Toby Perkins MP is put on the spot with Whizz-Kidz

Toby Perkins MP is put on the spot with Whizz-Kidz

Toby Perkins MP got more than he bargained for at The Labour Party Conference last month, when Jamie Green,17 year old Ambassador for the charity Whizz-Kidz, turned interviewer.

Whizz-Kidz – which provides vital wheelchairs, life skills, and work opportunities for young disabled people – quizzed MPs to see how in-touch they are with popular culture. Questions included, what is the most played album on their MP3 player, and how often do they search for themselves online.

Mr Perkins commented; “It was great to meet Jamie and Whizz-Kidz at Conference and be put on the spot! It was refreshing to see a charity use fun and good humour to break the ice with politicians.

“Beneath the mischief, the charity underlined the importance of every child having the opportunity to be themselves, and have a childhood like any other.”

Jamie Green added, “All the MPs and MSPs were great sports, and answered my three minute quiz honestly.

The right wheelchair and mobility equipment is not automatically provided on the NHS, and it is virtually impossible for a young disabled person to get a powered wheelchair. Whizz-Kidz’s Fast Forward campaign is calling on Government to reform young people’s wheelchair services.

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MP and Archbishop singing from the same hymn sheet on youth unemployment

MP and Archbishop singing from the same hymn sheet on youth unemployment

The Archbishop of Canterbury recently joined Reverend Matthew Barnes of St Thomas’ Church, Brampton and dozens of local people for the official opening of the fantastic £1 million eco centre. Toby Perkins, Labour Member of Parliament for Chesterfield met with the Archbishop and Reverend Barnes for the opening and discussed prominent issues facing Chesterfield and the country following Mr. Williams’ well publicized article in the New Statesman.

The MP, and newly appointed Business, Innovation and Skills Minister highlighted his concerns regarding youth unemployment and the need to drive forward comprehensive apprentiship schemes across the county and the whole of the UK.

With the latest figures showing youth unemployment at a horrific 991,000, with the axing of Education Maintenance Allowance and the tripling of Tuition Fees to around £9,000, young people have felt the full force of the Government’s austerity campaign. Mr. Perkins emphasized that more must be done to engage young people in the political system, to invest in schools and training programmes, and for businesses to roll out proven apprenteship schemes.

After the event Mr. Perkins said:-

“It was a real privilege to meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury in Chesterfield at this impressive new eco centre. I have no doubt that this facility will be a great asset to both St Thomas’ and the wider community”.

He added:-

“After reading the Archbishop’s article in the New Statesman in which he highlighted the problems facing young people,  I wanted to discuss with him the situation facing thousands of youngsters in this town who are not in work or training. This Government has declared war on the aspirations of our young people. Everyone but Nick Clegg and David Cameron recognize that the damage the Government’s obsession with deficit reduction at the cost of youngsters all across the UK. More must be done to provide a brighter future for so many relying on Government driven growth, not left exposed to market forces”.

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MPs narrowly lose to press at Labour Conference Football Match

MPs narrowly lose to press at Labour Conference Football Match

The following story is from the FA website at the following link:

As the Labour Party arrived in Liverpool to prepare for this week’s Conference, the MPs took time out on Sunday to play their annual match against the Press Lobby at the home of the Liverpool County FA.

Backing The FA Mars ‘Just Play’ campaign in the process, it was a close affair as always but the Press Lobby got their revenge for last year’s defeat with a 3-2 victory.

Labour started slowly with a short back pass gifting the opener to Jon Reed of The Yorkshire Post. The Daily Telegraph’s Andy Porter made it 2-0 soon after with a low shot from just inside the area.

Andy Burnham MP reduced the arrears with a fine shot from the edge of the box, a carbon copy of last year’s effort in Manchester, but Sky’s Ramzi Bedj restored the Press Lobby’s two goal advantage just before half time.

The MPs put on more pressure for an equaliser after the break, but researcher David Hodges’ goal came just too late and the scoreline finished at 3-2.

“It’s always a close encounter,” captain Clive Betts MP told FATV after the game.

“We hit the post and the crossbar, so we could easily have drawn or won the game.

“We’ll no doubt have our legs pulled and be ribbed for the next few days. If we win, nothing appears in the press, but if the press win, it always appears!”

Burnham also spoke after the game and gave his backing to the ‘Just Play’ campaign, which aims to get people back playing football across the country.

“It’s a brilliant campaign,” he said.

“I still play on a Monday night when I’m at home, with a group of lads that I grew up with.

“It’s not organised, it’s just informal and ‘turn up if you can’.

“We need to encourage more of that and make facilities easier for people to use and give them a place to play.

“It’s a brilliant campaign, a great idea and I’m wholeheartedly behind The FA on this.”

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls added: “It’s got to be easy for people to play football. Not everybody wants to play 11-a-side, but it can be 5-a-side, not everybody has to wear the kit- just get out there and participate.”

After putting in a solid performance in the Labour net Toby Perkins added:-

“Participation in sport and exercise is vital to the health and wellbeing of all members of the community, from our young people to senior citizens. It is so important for as many people as possible to play sport, whether it is organised or just a casual basis.

Despite the scoreline the match was great fun and it was a great to start the conference playing football in a city which is soccer mad. If the game had gone on for another ten minutes or so I would have backed us to win, but I’m sure we’ll come back stronger next year!

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I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

Contact Toby

Tel: 01246 386286
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF


I hold regular surgeries for my constituents.
Please call 01246 386286 or email to make a booking.

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