Good news - the Food Bus is coming to Tooting!
The Food Bus – a converted bus stocked with affordable, healthy food – aims to improve Wandsworth residents’ access to fresh produce, while reducing the burden on household budgets. Much of its stock is obtained from retailers’ surpluses, and an ordinary shopping basket of goods will be available at a fraction of the normal price.
The bus also features an on-board café. Head on down to All Saints Church on Brudenell Road on Thursday 10 June between 10:30am to 2:30pm to experience this wonderful initiative for yourself.
Tooting Bec Athletics Track needs to be resurfaced.
The track surface – which is already 35 years old – failed a track inspection last summer, meaning that it can no longer be used for competitions. Athletes are permitted to train at the facility until the end of 2021. However, the future of the track beyond this time is yet to be secured.
The track is much-loved and well utilised by a collective of local residents as diverse as Tooting itself. The Herne Hill Harriers have called the track home since the 1930’s. Their membership is comprised of people of all ages and backgrounds, including elite and Olympic athletes, while countless schools and community groups also make use of the facility.
I am calling on Wandsworth Council to commit to funding the resurfacing of this vital community asset without further delay.
Click here to add your name to a petition to the Council to refurbish the track. Continue to check back here, and on my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for further updates.
Today marks the beginning of Pride, a month where we celebrate our wonderful and diverse LGBT+ community.
Pride is a time for joy, laughter and love. It is also a time to reaffirm our allyship with the LGBT+ communities. Unfortunately, the struggle for equality is not over.
To this end, it is vital that the true meaning of Pride doesn’t get lost with corporations wanting to get involved with the ‘fun’. Indeed, we must remember all those who have and continue to suffer attacks on their basic human freedoms that so many of us simply take for granted.
I am so proud to be an ally. But we must not rest until everyone feels comfortable to be open about who they are without fear, stigma or judgement.
A big congratulations to our local football team Tooting and Mitcham FC, who beat AFC Wimbledon to win the London Senior Cup.
On a hot and sunny bank holiday Monday, goals by Jake Rose and Dontai Stewart led to a 2-1 win against a strong Wimbledon side. It was also a great performance from Billy Brown, Ahkeem Belford, Daniel Williams and goalkeeper Gary Ross.
As Adam Best wrote in his post-match commentary, “Jake Rose, as we’ve come to expect, finished it like James Bond dispatching a foe; calmly, suavely - a tailored assassin in his craft.”
This was undoubtedly a time of celebration, as could be heard from pub gardens across Tooting and Mitcham! Tooting and Mitcham FC continue to be an inspiration to young players in the local community and a source of much needed celebration at this time.
Since the outset of the pandemic, we have lost close to 500 Wandsworth residents to the virus (ONS). That’s 500 families grieving a lost one, 500 people with their own stories to tell, and a community collectively grieving those no longer with us.
To remember those who died, I recently visited the National Covid Memorial Wall outside St Thomas’s Hospital, stretching across the south bank of the River Thames.
The National Covid Memorial Wall was set up by the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK, who I had the pleasure of meeting with in November last year.
Hearing the evidence confirming what we knew and feared, of how severe failures caused countless avoidable deaths, results in a devastating combination of anger and heartbreak. All those bereaved are in my thoughts and will continue to be as we build back from this pandemic.
This May marks Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Month.
BPD, also known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD), is a serious and complicated mental illness that around 1 in 100 people live with.
A type of ‘personality disorder’, BPD affects how individuals cope with life, manage relationships, and feel emotions. Those with BPD can experience deep distress, which is often caused by previous trauma.
If you would like to find out more information on BPD, Mind and Rethink - two leading mental health charities - have dedicated pages on their websites. Mind’s can be viewed here and Rethink’s here.
If you are experiencing BPD, BPD World also provides information and support to those affected by personality disorders. To find out more about the support they offer, see here.
It is vital that we raise awareness of BPD to ensure that people receive the support they need and deserve without feeling stigmatised.
I would like to congratulate Sadiq Khan on his return to City Hall, where he will be serving as Mayor of London for a second term. As a fellow Tooting-ite, having grown up on the Henry Prince Estate, I know our community has a sense of collective pride seeing Sadiq returned as Mayor of our incredible city.
I would also like to congratulate Leonie Cooper on her re-election as Assembly Member for Merton and Wandsworth.
Thank you to every single person in Tooting and across London who put their trust in the Labour Party, and thank you to all of the volunteers who hit the ground running, knocking on doors, delivering leaflets, and making phone calls.
We will leave no stone unturned to get our city back on its feet. A brighter future is possible, and we’ll deliver it together.
Rites for Girls is a local group which aims aims to prepare girls for that all-important transition from primary to secondary school, focusing on their wellbeing and self-esteem.
Girls in Year 6 and 7 are being offered the opportunity to participate in monthly sessions over the course of the year, in which they will be taught about puberty, and learn strategies to take charge of their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing.
As we look to the end of Government lockdown measures, during which time many girls have reported feeling disconnected from family and friends, the support Rites for Girls offers girls is more important than ever.
Sessions will be held at the Woodfield Pavilion, Tooting Bec Common. For more information see here, or to book a place for your daughter contact email@example.com.
As a new mum, it can be vital to talk and share your experiences with those in the same situation as you.
No new mother should have to suffer in silence if they are struggling with their mental health.
To mark Maternal Mental Health Week, I would like to share some brilliant charities and support services available for women and birthing people:
Family Action offers specialist support services for parents with mental health difficulties. This includes services during pregnancy and after birth. Further information on Perinatal Support Services Family Lives can be found here.
The Association for Postnatal Illness offers information and support for those experiencing postnatal depression. The APNI are available between 10am and 2pm, Monday to Friday on 0207 386 0868. Alternatively, an online chat box on the bottom left of their website can be found here.
Family Lives offers confidential support, information and advice for parents. Support is available via email firstname.lastname@example.org or via there helpline on 0808 800 2222.
PaNDAS - Postnatal Awareness and Support is a community organisation offering peer-to-peer support. PaNDAS has a free helpline, open 7 days a week, 11am to 10pm on 0808 1961 776. Alternatively, they can be contacted via email on email@example.com and a trained volunteer will aim to get back to you within 72 hours.
If you are at crisis point, the Samaritans can be contacted 24/7 on 116 123.
As the backdrop for the BAFTA winning series 24 Hours in A&E, St Georges is now opening their doors to the Fetal Medicine Unit in Channel 4’s new series ‘Baby Surgeons: Delivering Miracles’.
The documentary follows obstetrician Professor Basky Thilaganathan and his team as they work to save the lives of unborn babies with complex medical conditions.
In one moving episode, Professor Thilaganathan was seen helping parents Becky and Richard, who were told that their baby had no chance of surviving. At Becky’s nineteen week scan, baby Annie was showing signs of congenital heart failure due to pressures from a congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation of the lung. In simpler terms, this meant that Annie had a tumour on her lung the size of a malteaser.
Owing to developments in medicine, Professor Thilaganathan was able to complete a non-invasive operation immediately on Becky and Annie by placing a tube near the mass, and feeding a laser through it, to zap and kill a rogue blood vessel.
Remarkably, despite the parents being told that Annie’s heart could stop at any time, the procedure was successful and Becky gave birth to Annie several months later, with no signs of the surgery she had undergone before she was born.
This is, yet again, proof of what amazing talent and humanity we have here in Tooting.
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