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Toby taking part in a speed-stacking challenge

MP bowled over by school’s approach to sport

Sporty students at Brockwell Junior School marked the Youth Sport Trust’s 2019 National School Sport Week by inviting local MP, Toby Perkins, to watch them and compete against them in

Toby hits one for six!

a range of sporting activities.

Toby said, “At a time when there is huge pressure on school budgets and more of a focus on league tables and exams, sports and P.E. can often not receive the time or consideration that it deserves. At Brockwell Juniors, they have taken a very proactive approach to sports, thinking of more diverse activities to ensure all children can participate, and this has led to happier, healthier children as well as the school securing a number of trophies and high-profile sporting wins”

Toby had the chance to try speed stacking and archery, as well as demonstrating the cricket skills he had previously put to good use playing for Holmewood MWCC many years ago!

The theme for the 2019 YST National School Sport Week was Journey to Wellbeing and encouraged schools to organise activity which align with the following five steps to wellbeing:

  • Being active
  • Connecting
  • Giving back
  • Taking notice
  • Learning

Bullseye!

The Youth Sport Trust is the leading national charity working in partnership with over 20,000 schools, government and leading sporting organisations to improve PE and school sport. We harness the power physical activity to improve young people’s life chances with a focus on building life skills and resilience, as well as supporting physical and mental wellbeing.

Toby added, “As a former Derbyshire rugby player, who enthusiastically follows many sports, I am a huge believer in the value of competitive sports in schools. It not only promotes activity and fitness, but improves children’s confidence, social skills and ability to work as a team. We need the Government to provide more funding to schools to ensure that P.E. remains a central part to the school week.”

Toby taking part in a speed-stacking challenge

Toby taking part in a speed-stacking challenge

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Toby at the monthly social meeting of the YNA group

Derbyshire mental health group lets people know that support is always available

A peer-to-peer support group for people with mental health issues, ‘You’re Never Alone – Mental Health Awareness (YNA)’, invited local MP Toby Perkins to attend their monthly meeting to learn more about the group and the issues facing mental health sufferers.

The group was co-created by Chesterfield resident, Mark Sims, and provides advice, support and friendship through a Facebook group and regular meetings.

Toby said, “With the cuts to health services it has become increasingly difficult for people to access the support they need. Waiting lists for counselling services can see patients waiting for over two years before they are seen and so there are hundreds of people across Derbyshire not receiving support and feeling like they are alone with their mental health issues. Peer-to-peer support groups such as the YNA group can be a significant help to people who are falling through the cracks in the system”

The YNA Facebook page is a private group that allows people to interact with others with mental health issues and build up their support network. The groups admins are also available for one-to-one support via messenger and email.

Toby added, “Whilst these groups are important, they can never replace NHS mental health services and we need the Government to ensure that mental health is receiving parity of esteem for funding, to protect patients who are vulnerable and unwell.”

You can join the group at https://www.facebook.com/Youre-Never-Alone-Mental-Health-Awareness-contact-page-390975894990697/

Toby at the monthly social meeting of the YNA group

Toby at the monthly social meeting of the YNA group

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Toby challenging the Prime Minister to make changes to the SEN funding formula

Chesterfield MP challenges Prime Minister over funding for special educational needs

Chesterfield’s Brampton Primary School was praised in Parliament for their “exemplary record in special educational needs” by Toby Perkins MP as he also challenged Theresa May to change the funding formula to ensure every child with special educational needs receives the support they need.

Toby said, “I have met with the head teachers and school governors at several schools, as well as dozens of concerned parents, regarding the difficulties they are experiencing securing funding for children with special educational needs. The impact this is having on the education and development of these children, and the knock-on impact it can have for other children in their class, cannot be underestimated.

Under the current funding formula, the first £6,000 per year of funding the school receives for the education of a child with special needs is not actually funded by the Government. And to make matters even more difficult, the County Council are often refusing to acknowledge when a child should qualify for special educational needs funding, or the assessment process takes so long that schools are left for months on end without the support they need.”

In addition to raising this in Prime Minister’s Questions, Toby has created an opportunity to support the case by submitting an Early Day Motion on funding for children with special educational needs that has been signed by 41 MPs.

The EDM reads:

“That this House notes that the Government’s current formula for allocating financial resources to schools includes a requirement that schools themselves have to fund the first £6,000 of the support for the most disadvantaged Special Educational Needs pupils (SEND), those with Education Health and Care plans (EHCP), and that this provides a disincentive for schools to support EHCP applications or to accept pupils with EHCPs in the first place; further notes that these pupils are those who have the greatest need of support and that schools who develop a good reputation for supporting disadvantaged students face a financial penalty for doing so; and calls on the Government to ensure that in the forthcoming Spending Review the Government fully funds the provision for SEND pupils to ensure that schools and local authorities receive the finances to give SEND pupils the investment in their education that those pupils need and deserve”.

Toby is hoping to secure a Westminster Hall debate on this issue to press the Government to make changes to the formula.

Toby added, “Brampton Primary School has one of the best reputations for providing a comprehensive and individualised package of support for children with special educational needs. This has led to more parents wanting to send their children there, so they have a far higher number of SEN children on their roll. They have become a victim of their own success due to the Government’s funding formula and it is placing in jeopardy the fantastic work they do. The formula has to change.”

Toby challenging the Prime Minister to make changes to the SEN funding formula

Toby challenging the Prime Minister to make changes to the SEN funding formula

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Toby with Reverend Daniel Cooke

‘Heating and seating’ funding campaign launched to help refurbish chilly church

The St Michael & All Angels Church in Brimington is trying to raise £100k to pay for a new heating system and to make the church more accessible for disabled and elderly church goers.

Toby with Reverend Daniel Cooke

Toby with Reverend Daniel Cooke

Chesterfield MP, Toby Perkins, recently visited the Church to meet with Reverend Daniel Cooke and has now given his support to the fundraising campaign.

Toby said, “the heating system at the Church is older than Reverend Cooke himself and it can get almost unbearably cold. The building is a great space that could be utilised more by the community if the heating system was replaced and a refurbishment completed to make it more accessible and usable”.

As well as replacing the heating system, the Church is planning to remove the old pews, which are inaccessible for many disabled and elderly people, and introduce more flexible seating that will allow access for wheelchairs and pushchairs, and make the building more suitable for community activities and events. The Church has already raised £20k of their £100k target, and is now being supported to apply for a grant by Toby Perkins and other groups.

Toby added, “There are other churches in the Chesterfield area that have modernised and become more accessible, and they have become real community hubs. Hopefully, the St Michael & All Angels Church can do the same and I would urge people to donate what they can.”

Donations can be made via the Church’s Justgiving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stmichaelsheatingandseating

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Toby at the site of the new centre, which is expected to be completed by Summer 2020

Local MP calls for more donations as landmark project to rebuild the RSPCA Chesterfield Animal Centre continues

The Chesterfield and North Derbyshire RSPCA are rebuilding Chesterfield Animal Centre in a £2m project and local MP, Toby Perkins, went along to see the progress that is being made.

Toby at the site of the new centre, which is expected to be completed by Summer 2020

Toby at the site of the new centre, which is expected to be completed by Summer 2020

Toby said, “I visited the centre before work had even started and saw the ambitious plans for rebuilding the centre. It is amazing to see how much progress has already been made and I can’t wait to come back for the grand opening when the development is completed.”

Due to open in summer next year, the new centre will include 26 replacement dog kennels, a 22-pen cattery and a dedicated unit for puppies. There will also be an isolation unit, which will include three dog kennels and four cat pens, as well as an outdoor exercise area.  The new pens will provide a dedicated space to care for cats and dogs that require additional medical attention when injured or poorly.

Toby added, “This is a £2 million project and the staff at the centre have made a truly Herculean effort to raise the vast majority of the funds needed. But they still need donations to complete the project and keep the new centre going. They receive no money from public funds and are independent from the national RSPCA so I would encourage local animal lovers to dig deep and donate.

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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 aaroncobley99@gmail.com or tel: 07429618995

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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 https://www.derbyshirelgbt.org.uk/chesterfield-centre/

 

 

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Hunting ban event pic

Chesterfield MP calls for clampdown to prevent illegal foxhunting

Parliament marked 14 years since the introduction of the Hunting Act last week, and Chesterfield MP, Toby Perkins, has added his weight to the campaign for a strengthening of the rules to stop illegal fox hunting.

Toby said, “Animal welfare is something that I and my constituents care deeply about and fox hunting is one of the subjects that people contact me about every week. I am immensely proud of the previous Labour Government for introducing the ban on foxhunting but there are too many loopholes that mean foxes are still being chased and brutally killed. Trail hunting is clearly being used by some hunts as a cover for foxhunting. We need to strengthen the Hunting Act and ensure that illegal hunts result in prosecutions. I will be contacting Derbyshire Police to arrange a briefing on how the Act is policed in Derbyshire, and learn more about any attempts to get around the principles of the bill.”

A recent poll by Survation found that only 16% of those living in rural areas believe hunting with dogs is a reflection of countryside values, while 67% do not.  It also showed that a mere 4% of people living in the countryside ever take part in hunting with hounds.  In contrast, 91% said they thought observing nature was a greater reflection of countryside values.

Labour have proposed the following amendments to the Hunting Act 2004:

  1. Review sentencing to ensure effective deterrence includes the use of custodial sentences in line with other wildlife crimes.
  2. Strengthening the criteria on which research licenses are issued.
  3. The removal of the exemption “Use of dogs below ground to protect birds for shooting”, as it risks fights between dogs and wild mammals.
  4. The introduction of a ‘recklessness clause’ to prevent trail hunting from being used as a cover for the illegal hunting of live wild animals.

Toby added, “I appreciate that there is a sense of tradition and a number of jobs related to hunting, but local hunts can maintain this with drag hunting. There is no excuse for foxes to be killed. Trail hunting has been used as a screen for foxhunting and it is important that nobody should feel that they are above the law.”

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Welcome

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
Email: toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF

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I hold regular surgeries for my constituents.
Please call 01246 386286 or email toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk to make a booking.

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