Here in Swindon there are an estimated 2697 people living with dementia and by 2030 this number is sadly estimated to rise to nearly 4,000.
That is why Dementia Action Week, which is taking place this week, is so important to help raise awareness and make Swindon more dementia friendly.
As part of Dementia Action Week, which is an annual event led by the Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Friendly Swindon / Swindon Dementia Action Alliance are hosting a number of short talks.
Sessions include ‘Becoming a dementia friend’, ‘Power of attorney’, ‘Helping families face dementia’, ‘What support is available’, and ‘Future of dementia care in hospitals’.
More information and the full agenda for the week can be found here: http://www.vas-swindon.org/daw.
I am also throwing my full support behind Foster Care Fortnight, the UK’s largest foster care awareness campaign, which is taking place between the 10th and 23rd May.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, over 55,000 foster carers provided stable and loving homes to more than 65,000 children across the UK. Foster carers play a crucial role in our care system and I would like to say a big thank you to all the foster carers here in Swindon who do such a fantastic job.
Being a foster carer is to take a role like no other, so if you are looking for a new lifestyle in the aftermath of this dreadful pandemic and you believe you have the right skills, please consider becoming a foster carer.
By becoming a foster carer, you become part of a community who are dedicating their lives for the betterment of others with the support of your fostering service and The Fostering Network.
To find out more about fostering, and to find your local fostering service, please visit: https://thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/could-you-foster.
Since first being elected, I have made improving our local infrastructure a big priority of mine. Working in tandem with the Conservative-led Swindon Borough Council and Justin Tomlinson MP, my lobbying in Parliament has helped secure £16.5 million of improvements to M4 Junctions 15 & 16, funding for a new bus boulevard and guaranteeing £7 billion for the modernisation and electrification of the Great Western Mainline through Swindon.
I am also pleased to announce that preparatory work has already begun on the £11.6 million Southern Connector Road project. This will be a new two-way connecting road between the A419 Commonhead Roundabout and the southern end of the New Eastern Villages development.
I have been working closely with Gary Sumner, local councillor for Ridgeway and the Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning on this project and have helped ensure that the new road will have a dedicated cycle route running alongside, creating a sustainable connection to the wider cycle network here in Swindon.
The road will also be designed to avoid known areas of archaeological interest and safeguard wildlife, particularly endangered species.
This week I have been busy in Parliament leading for the Government at the end of a debate on safer streets and yesterday I also answered questions in the House of Commons from fellow MPs about my work as Justice Secretary and the Government’s reforms to our criminal justice system which I am spearheading.