Attended Kabaddi Tournament on Winns Common

It was great to attend the Erith & Woolwich Kabaddi Tournament this month on Winns Common. I really enjoyed watching the games and was pleased to meet so many local fans and lots of visitors from across the country.

Really pleased also to be joined on the day by Tan Dhesi MP, Cllr Baljeet Singh Gill, Cllr Anna Day and Cllr Larry Ferguson.

Thanks again to Erith & Woolwich Kabaddi Club for organising the event.  

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New Defibrillator at Lesnes Abbey Lodge

I was delighted to pop in and see the new defibrillator at Lesnes Abbey Lodge this month. It was great to be invited by Lesnes Abbey Friends to meet them and hear how they raised an incredible £2,000, with support from local organisations, to install this life saving device.

You may be aware that increasing access to and awareness of defibrillators is an issue I’m incredibly passionate about. In July this year, I organised a Westminster Hall debate on this issue and challenged the Government to do more where possible on public access to defibrillators. In the debate, I said:

“Defibrillators represent an incredible technical advance. They are lightweight, easy to use and designed only to help and not harm the patient. The issue is not about their design but their distribution and public awareness of what they are and how to use them.”

It was great therefore to join Lesnes Abbey Friends as they celebrated adding this important device to our community.

I also got the opportunity to join Lesnes Abbey’s first ever Woodland Festival. This event involved a jam-packed day of events and activities and was a great celebration of Lesnes Abbey and Woods.

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Abena appointed Shadow Minister for Women’s Health and Mental Health

I hope you will be pleased to know that I have recently accepted the position of Shadow Minister for Women’s Health and Mental Health. This is such an important role and these are issues that I’m really passionate about.

My main role as a Shadow Minister is scrutiny. I am committed to ensuring that the government is held accountable in legislative procedures and in ministerial conduct. This might include exploring government policy, finding its faults, and critiquing it. That being said, as an opposition minister I am part of a government in waiting. This means that I must ensure that Labour is ready for government in case of electoral victory, and ready to deliver our mission to build an NHS Fit for the Future.

I am pleased to say that Labour is committed to getting waiting lists down and getting people treated on time. We have a 10-year plan for change and modernisation and this will include one of the biggest expansions of the NHS workforce in history. But more than that, we plan to put individual care and mental health treatment at the heart of our mission. An issue that has for too long been in the shadows.

With Labour, more care will be delivered on your doorstep, out of the hospital and in the community. We will focus on prevention and a move towards transformational new technologies.

In my new role, I will be working with various charities and stakeholders, listening to experts in Women’s Health and Mental Health, and considering how Labour will do things differently. However, I will also be speaking to those working in our health and care sectors and the patients receiving care.

I’d love to see Women’s Health and Mental Health services transformed into something that the British people can be truly proud of. I want everybody to receive the support that they deserve, delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible.

It is Labour who has the plan and the mission to build a NHS Fit for the Future and there for you when you need it. I encourage you to take a quick look at Labour’s plans for health services, which you can read here: Building an NHS fit for the future.

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Visit to Lakeside Open Studio

Lovely to pop into Lakeside Studios in Thamesmead to attend their fantastic Open Studio Event. It was very nice to celebrate this amazing space and to hear from some of the artists about their work.

If you don’t know already, this venue is listed as one of the top 10 must-see buildings this year by Architects’ Journal.

I would highly recommend everyone tries to visit if you haven’t already.