December 2023 Newsletter

Dear Friend,

Many thanks for taking the time to look at my latest newsletter for December 2023.

I hope you enjoy this update on some of the work I have been doing in Erith and Thamesmead and in Parliament over the last month.

As ever, if you want to get in touch, don’t hesitate to contact me using the email address:


Happy New Year

I hope that everyone in Erith & Thamesmead had a very merry and restful Christmas period. December was a very busy time in our community with lots of events and activities. You may have also noticed my Christmas Advent Calendar on social media, where I was sharing so many of the great things going on. I was pleased to join a number of these events to celebrate the festive season.

For example, it was lovely to take part in the annual Christmas Tree Festival at Christ Church in Erith and to see all the impressively decorated trees. Along with many local families, charities and businesses, I was glad to decorate my tree to contribute to another successful festival. As well as this, it was nice to see so many at the Christ Church Erith Carol Service hosted by Revd Anthea Harris-Faulkner.

It was also great to attend and do a reading at a number of other carol services across our community including for the All Saints Belvedere Carol Concert and the Carol Service at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel hosted by Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice.

And it was fantastic to join Santa with the Rotary Club of Erith as they travelled across our local area to raise funds for local charities, as the club has been doing for over 90 years.

And finally, there was no better way to celebrate the Christmas festivities than at Belvedere Community Centre’s community Christmas lunch. Such a great atmosphere and I want to say a huge thanks to the staff, volunteers and supporters of Belvedere Community Centre for bringing us all together and for the amazing food and carols!

I want to thank everyone who hosted events in Erith and Thamesmead throughout the Christmas period and again hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Christmas Card Competition 2023

It was also very nice to hold a constituency competition to design my annual Christmas Card for 2023.

This is where I invite students from across Erith and Thamesmead to submit their artwork to go on my Christmas Card and also to be showcased in the House of Commons by the Speaker of the House. The theme for this year was: ‘What Makes Me Happy in Erith and Thamesmead’ and I’d like to thank all the pupils who took part.

The Winner was Mija Liumpa, aged 10, from Parkway Primary School and you can see her brilliant design below – representing the old Mulberry tree near the Abbey Wood ruins.

If you would like to know more about the competition and the winner you can read my article announcing the winner here.

Thanks also to the local co-sponsors who kindly supported part of this year’s competition – Co-op Belvedere and Manak Solicitors.

My Work in Parliament

This month, I was also working hard to share Labour’s message on the NHS and our Health Care system in Parliament. I’ve also been raising several issues that I know are important to those in our community.

I began the month by challenging new Health Secretary, Victoria Atkins MP on the current state of the NHS after 13 years of Conservative Government. For example, at Health Questions, I highlighted that two-thirds of Maternity services are now rated inadequate or requires improvement and made clear that the problems are only getting worse, leaving more mothers and their babies at risk, receiving care that’s not good enough.

Furthermore, I challenged the Government to address the urgent crises of NHS waiting lists, NHS dentistry services and in Social Care that’s leaving too many across the country without the support they need. In response to these crises, I made clear the Opposition’s plans to tackle these emergencies and shared our mission to make the NHS fit for the future.

In addition to this, I also wrote to the government regarding the concerning events in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo and what steps are being taken to reduce the outbreak of disease and hunger in the region, as a result of ongoing conflict.

It was also great to have a number of constituents come to Parliament to watch Prime Minister’s Questions or go on a Tour of the estate. I was particularly pleased to hear that so many students from Woolwich Polytechnic School were able to come for a Tour.

As ever, if you are interested in a Tour of Parliament and live in Erith and Thamesmead then I would be happy to arrange this for you. Please contact me at:

New Kitchen at the Javan Coker Foundation

I was also very pleased to join the Javan Coker Foundation (JCF) this month as they celebrated the installation of their newly refurbished kitchen at the JCF centre.

Alongside the Council Leader, Cllr Anthony Okereke, it was lovely to join the team for the opening and hear about all the great work they have been doing to support children and families in need.

If you would like to find out more about the charity and what they are doing in our community, then you can find their website here:

My Update on Casework for December

Thank you to everyone who contacted me in the last month and over the course of 2023 to raise the issues you have been facing.

My team and I have been doing all we can to support constituents as they face serious challenges. Unfortunately, it has been another very difficult year as far too many have faced housing insecurity, financial difficulties, immigration issues and much more.

As I mentioned in my last newsletter, this year my team and I have worked on almost 12,000 issues for constituents. While I know too many are still struggling, I’m pleased to have had many successful outcomes and to have made a lot of positive change for many in our community. I will continue to challenge the Government on all these issues as well as working with constituents on many of the personal issues they are facing.

As always, if you have any concerns or issues that you like to raise with me, please contact my office using the following channels:


  • St Fidelis Primary School Christmas Singers – I wanted to say that I’m so proud of all our St Fidelis singers who participated in the King’s Christmas Speech with Bexley Music on Christmas Day.

Sign up to my Coffee Morning

If you are interested in coming along to a future Coffee Morning, I’ve just launched my webpage where you, your family and friends can sign up to register your interest in attending a meeting.

Sign up:

Stay updated on social media

For regular updates on my activities, follow me on Twitter (@abenaopp), Facebook (Abena Oppong-Asare MP, Erith and Thamesmead), and Instagram (

You can also sign up to my digital newsletter at