Archive | March, 2019

Green Heart Heroes meet Toby Perkins MP

Organisations and individuals who have achieved extraordinary reductions in their Carbon footprint were among the ‘Green Heart Heroes’ Toby Perkins MP met at a recent Parliamentary awards event.


Toby Perkins MP joined over 40 of his parliamentary colleagues on the 11 March in the Palace of Westminster to celebrate the efforts of those tackling climate change up and down the country.


The Chesterfield MP came to the Palace of Westminster on Monday evening for The Climate Coalition’s Green Heart Hero Awards.


The ceremony – which recognised the efforts of green schools, businesses and MPs, sustainable sports projects and overseas schemes – was hosted by television and radio presenter Clive Anderson, and featured Sky News journalist Kay Burley alongside a number of other award presenters.


Toby Perkins MP said: “It’s been such an inspiring evening seeing the actions of others – from football clubs to primary schools – all of which are taking the fight to tackle climate change into their own hands. It was great to see so many constituents alongside their MPs, all working towards a cleaner future.


“I’m proud to have attended the awards wearing my green heart and showing my support for a net zero future before 2050. I want to be part of leaving a legacy for future generations that we can all be proud of.”


The Climate Coalition is made up of more than 130 organisations representing over 15 million people, ranging from aid agencies such as CAFOD and Christian Aid to groups such as the Women’s Institute, WWF, RSPB, and the National Trust.


The awards ceremony follows on from the fifth year of the Coalition’s Show The Love campaign, which sees people from all walks of life – faith groups, sports clubs, businesses, schoolchildren – come together to Show the Love for all that they want to protect from climate change.


Clara Goldsmith, Director of Campaigns at The Climate Coalition, said:


“It’s fantastic to see the work that people from all over the country are doing to protect the things we love from climate change.


“Climate change is already changing the things we love in the UK. It’s also hitting the most vulnerable people, whether that’s very young or elderly people struggling with heat waves here at home or those in communities overseas affected by a loss of crops or more severe disasters.


“It’s important we take the time to celebrate the incredible people taking their futures into their own hands. Now we need to see the government to set an ambitious target to reduce emissions”

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Save the Children Photo


The petition of more than 58,000 calls for action from the UK Government to use the power of its pen at the UN to bring peace to the children of Yemen


Tuesday 19th March: Toby Perkins MP joined more than 60 activists including 24 school children at Westminster to support the hand in of a peace petition to the Foreign Office. The activists want the UK government to hear them standing up for the children of Yemen and turn political promises into practical change at the UN Security Council.


More than 20 British school children aged between 11-13 years of age from Beverley High School in Yorkshire and Ousedale School in Buckinghamshire have been working with Save the Children campaigning and fundraising for children in Yemen.


They came together with activists from across the country to form a group of 60, staging a stunt in Victoria Tower Gardens that included an installation of a large pen containing thousands of regular-sized pens, to illustrate the petition signatures. The children also used the pens to spell out ‘words not weapons’ on a board outside parliament. Following the stunt installation, the school children and campaigners walked to the Foreign Office in Westminster with a giant pen to present the printed names of the 58,000 signatories.


Recent reports of increased fighting in Yemen – already the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world – have cast doubt on the future of the Stockholm peace process which began in December last year.


The slim window of opportunity to secure peace in Yemen is now and Toby Perkins MP joined British children and campaigners to show solidarity with the children of Yemen.


Toby Perkins said: ‘I am delighted to support Save the Children’s petition hand in. These British children believe the children of Yemen deserve a better future, witnessing their determination to hold our government to account is a reminder to us all that we must be persistent in our pursuit of peace. Following four years of conflict the civilians of Yemen continue to fight for survival. For the sake of Yemen’s children, we must urge our government to use its influence at the UN Security Council and create a future without conflict.’


Save the Children is calling on the UK to put children front and centre of its foreign, defence and aid policies, calling out allies when they commit atrocities against children, and implementing a clear strategy to protect children and their families caught up in conflict.



Toby Perkins MP pledges support for Endometriosis Awareness Month

A common condition which can affect the fertility of women was highlighted by Toby Perkins MP in Parliament recently.


Toby pledged his support for Endometriosis Awareness Month, to highlight the debilitating condition that affects 1 in 10 women from puberty to menopause.


Endometriosis Awareness Month takes place throughout March, which this year aims to raise the importance of education in tackling alarming diagnosis times.


To mark the month, Endometriosis UK has launched new education material with the Royal College of GPs to support GPs to identify endometriosis. This, coupled with changes to the school curriculum from 2020 to include menstrual wellbeing, is “another step in the right direction to tackling diagnosis times”, according to the leading support charity Endometriosis UK.

Diagnosis time for endometriosis currently takes an average of 7.5 years, which MPs including Toby Perkins MP are campaigning to see reduced.


Toby Perkins MP said: “I’m proud to be supporting endometriosis awareness month which aims to raise awareness of this debilitating condition that affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. Despite endometriosis affecting 1.5 million women, a similar number of women affected by diabetes, diagnosis time takes an average of 7.5 years and the disease is still widely unheard of.


“Endometriosis costs the UK economy £8.2bn a year in treatment, loss of work, and healthcare costs. I’m therefore delighted to be working with Endometriosis UK to urge the Government to help improve awareness, diagnosis, and research of endometriosis”.


Emma Cox, CEO of Endometriosis UK added: “Endometriosis UK is delighted to be working with MPs from across all Parties to raise awareness of endometriosis during awareness month and beyond. We are grateful to MPs for recognising the critical role they play in ensuring women do not suffer in silence with conditions such as endometriosis; helping drive down diagnosis time which currently averages at an alarming 7.5 years”.

“Endometriosis UK has welcomed the news that menstrual wellbeing will be included in the new Relationship & Sex Education curriculum and will be compulsory to teach all children in both primary and secondary education. This change will help overcome the taboo and embarrassment around periods, as well as equipping girls with the knowledge of what is and isn’t normal for their menstrual cycle, and in turn the confidence to seek help when it is needed. Importantly, they will also know the correct language to communicate with their parents or medical practitioners.


“It’s incredibly encouraging to see the shift in conversation around menstrual conditions in Parliament, and we look forward to continuing this work to help ensure every person suffering from endometriosis is given the right treatment at the right time”.


For more information on Endometriosis Awareness Month, please visit:


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AoC Student Awards

Toby Perkins MP celebrates the success of students in parliament

Toby Perkins MP celebrated the success of local students at a prestigious event in parliament.


Toby Perkins MP joined a host of students and MPs at the Association of Colleges’ Student of the Year Awards reception at the House of Commons.


The awards celebrate the achievements and successes of exceptional students who stand out from the crowd and have either shown academic excellence, contributed to their local economy or overcome difficulty to progress. The award is open to any student of an AoC member college and is not limited by age, level or course.


Following the event, Toby Perkins MP said: “The further education sector offers the opportunity to transform people’s lives and this recognition is evidence of the excellent work that students have carried out and her achievements in college during the year.”


David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “The standard of entries this year was incredibly high and each of the students deserves praise for the contribution they make to their colleges as well as the contribution they are bringing to their local community.


“All the students have done fantastically well to get here so special mention must go to their colleges who do fantastic work daily to harness their skills and prepare them for the world of work.”




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Toby backs end to Disability Price Tag

Toby backs end to Disability Price Tag

Many families with disabled people face a huge price tag attached to caring for their loved ones. At a recent Parliamentary event, Toby Perkins MP supported calls to ease the financial burden.


Toby Perkins MP for Chesterfield showed his support for disabled people at the parliamentary event, organised by disability equality charity Scope.


The drop-in event followed the launch of Scope’s Disability Price Tag report, a major piece of research that reveals the extra costs faced by disabled people each month.


Life costs more for disabled people because they have no choice but to spend more on essential goods and services like heating, therapies and equipment.


The Disability Price Tag report shows that disabled people face, on average, extra costs of £583 per month. For families with disabled children, the figure is £581 per month, with almost a quarter facing extra costs of over £1000.


At the event, Toby met with Scope Storytellers to discuss their experiences managing extra costs.


Toby Perkins MP said “It was fantastic to meet Scope Storytellers at today’s Disability Price Tag drop-in. It is vital that the UK’s 14 million disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else.”


“I will be working with colleagues in the House of Commons to call on the Government to do more to address the extra costs faced by disabled people in Chesterfield and across the country”.


Adam Smiley, Public Affairs Manager at disability equality charity Scope, said “We were really pleased that Toby Perkins MP could attend our event today and show his support. On average disabled people face extra costs of £583 a month and families with disabled children face £581 each month.


“Scope is calling for the Government to put in place a welfare system that recognises extra costs, and provides disabled people and their families with the financial support they need.”

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Aaron in action during training

Home-grown World Champion needs celebrating and supporting, says Chesterfield MP

Many people in Chesterfield may not be aware that local lad Aaron Cobley from Staveley is a multiple World and European ITF Taekwondo Champion and multiple World Kickboxing Champion. Local MP Toby Perkins met with Aaron at one of his training sessions to see him in action and is hoping that more people will become interested in the sport and celebrate Aaron’s achievements.

Toby said, “Aaron is a real athlete with a determined and professional approach to taekwondo and kickboxing. To have a multiple world champion, who has won trophies, championship belts and medals in numerous international competitions, is something that Chesterfield people should be very proud of.”

Aaron first took up taekwondo aged just six years old and started to compete when he was only 8. Aaron’s achievements so far include:

Aaron in action during training

Aaron in action during training

  • numerous bronze and silver medals in World Taekwondo and Kickboxing matches from 2012 to present
  • 2015 UITF Open World Taekwondo Championships Gold Individual sparring, Gold Team Sparring
  • 2015 WKU European Champion Gold light contact Gold Kumate
  • 2015 WKU World Kickboxing Championships  Gold light contact, Gold Team light contact Gold Team Kumate
  • 2016 UITF European Taekwondo Championships Gold sparring Gold destruction
  • 2016 WKU World Championships Gold Team Sparring
  • 2017 UITF Taekwondo World Championships  Adult -71kg Gold sparring
  • 2017 WKU World Kickboxing Championships Gold sparring  Gold Team Sparring
  • 2018 ITF Open European Taekwondo Championships Adult -71kg Gold sparring
  • 2018 WKU World Championships -65kg Gold sparring Gold kumate, Gold  team sparring Gold Team Kumate, Gold Team kick lite.

Aaron now works full-time, as well as training almost every day and providing his own training sessions for people who want to learn from a world champion.

Aaron said, “I simply love to compete in both Taekwondo and Kickboxing. Being on the mats in second nature to me as soon as I step on the mat I know what I have to do. I dream of becoming a professional fighter. I am now preparing and training for my debut K1 match in Sheffield. I wish to thank all my family friends and coaches for their ongoing support as without them I would not have achieved this success. Special thanks to my Taekwondo instructor Mr Wagstaff from Outwood Taekwondo Academy in Chesterfield and Master Bradshaw”

Toby added, “It takes a lot of time and money to compete at this level. There are costs for travelling overseas, buying equipment, training venues and entering competitions. Unfortunately, there are not the grants and sponsorship available to Aaron that exist in many other sports and so he has to self-finance most of these things. If there are any local businesses or sports enthusiasts who would be interested in sponsoring Aaron, to help ensure he stays at the top of his field, I hope they will get in touch.”

This year he will travel to Austria for the WKU World Kickboxing Championships and Scotland for the world Taekwondo Team Championships. His debut K1  match is at Brammall Lane Sheffield on Sunday 7th April.

People can follow his achievements via his professional  Facebook page or Instagram @aaronthebarbariancobley. Any individuals or companies interested in sponsoring Aaron please contact him via email or tel: 07429618995

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Fibro Meeting w the Minister Photo

The Fibromyalgia petition team along with MP Toby Perkins met with the Minister of State for Disabled People Health & Work

On the 27th of February, the fibromyalgia petition team, along with MP Toby Perkins came to the Department for Work and Pensions to meet with the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health & Work following a Westminster Hall debate on the recognition of fibromyalgia as a disability on the 15th of January.


The Meeting follows a petition set up by Chesterfield Constituent Adrienne Lakin who set up a petition on which has over 120,000 signatures, the petition can be found here:

The Minister heard from the fibromyalgia petition team who informed the Minister and her team about their experience with fibromyalgia including benefits, assessment and the full range of symptoms they have.


The meeting led to some very constructive discussions and points for actions including further meetings with health providers. If the suggested steps are taken it will amplify the voice of fibromyalgia sufferers and could pave the way to improve treatment, diagnosis and assessment.


The Minister instructed department officials to include fibromyalgia campaigners as stakeholders in their fibromyalgia consultation to improve diagnosis. She also offered to set up a meeting with DWP officials & assessment firms to promote more feedback on how the assessment regime is working.


After the meeting, Toby said, “we look forward to seeing what steps are made in response to this meeting and hope that steps will be made to make life for people with Fibromyalgia much easier”.

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Chesterfield LGBT+

Derbyshire LGBT+ have branched out with a brand new centre in Chesterfield

Derbyshire LGBT+ have branched out with a brand new centre in Chesterfield. The launch was attended by MP Toby Perkins along with representatives of many local organisations showing their support for the centre. The centre was officially opened by the Mayor and Mayoress of Chesterfield.

Derbyshire LGBT+ has been a central presence in the local gay community in Derby since the organisation’s launch in 1983. Originally the organisation, set up and run by enthusiastic volunteers from the local gay community, aimed to help other lesbians, gay men and bisexuals come to terms with coming out and meeting others.

The organisation has grown and now also provides support to people who feel that they have difficulties relating to their gender identity. Derbyshire LGBT+ has also become a support organisation for many LGBT organisations and networks, such as schools, to whom they provide information and resources.

The group found there was a growing demand for support in places outside Derby, such as Chesterfield and Swadlincote. The centre will provide a drop-in service and group sessions for LGBT+ people and their family and friends.

Toby Perkins said “We have made huge progress as a society and it is fantastic that a facility like this is here. However, it is important to remember and recognise those campaigners in more difficult and less enlightened times. They were the pioneers who enabled us to get where we are today.

I also know that although things are hugely better people are still attacked or discriminated against because of their sexuality and it is because of that, that centres like this are so crucial and to have this here in Chesterfield is a source of tremendous pride for us.

I know that the more people get to know about the centre, the more it will provide the crucial support that is still required for people at all ends of the journey, whether they are young people discovering about themselves or people at a more advanced stage of life struggling with loneliness and the other trials other older people face but with additional challenges too.

So I am absolutely thrilled that this centre is here to provide this hugely valuable service.”

More information can be found at



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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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