It was such a privilege to welcome the Prime Minister to Derby North on Wednesday the 16th of August when we visited Hannah Fields Community Gardens to meet representatives of organisations who do important work in our community.
Prime Ministerial visits aren’t common, many MPs will go their entire Parliamentary career without one, so I am very grateful Rishi Sunak took time out of his busy schedule to meet constituents. I wanted to make sure that the opportunity was used wisely, and I thought it would be appropriate for the Prime Minister to thank those individuals who do fantastic work in our community, and it would be beneficial for him to learn about their respective missions.
Hannah Fields was the perfect location for this event to take place as is it an excellent example of how a project can give back to the community. The garden is run by Angela Griffin solely to the benefit of the community, as a place where anyone can find peace and relax and is an especially important space for those at risk of social isolation. The volunteers use their planting beds to teach visitors about sustainability and the environment and given its location in Littleover, sitting right in the heart of Derby, it’s difficult to avoid describing the site as an oasis amongst the inevitable buildings and infrastructure of the city. Our charities and CICs share the ambition of providing opportunities in Derby that otherwise would not be available within their outreach work – so I felt this was the ideal spot to welcome the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister was genuinely really impressed to learn about a range of fantastic community projects happening in Derby and took the time before meeting those invited to speak to the volunteers at Hannah Fields about their selfless work. He had the opportunity to pick and take home a few of tomatoes he had picked – he even mentioned right at the start of his visit that he had been looking forward to this!
Following his tour of the garden’s fruit and vegetables, I introduced the Prime Minister to twenty-two representatives from different charities and CICs active in Derby North and I was grateful that he was generous with his time to ensure he met everyone in attendance. Representatives from excellent charities such as Bridge the Gap and Jericho House were in attendance as well as from businesses such as Derbyshire Cricket Club and Cozy who carry out considerable charitable works in the constituency.
The event proved a fantastic opportunity for different organisations to meet to discuss their shared objectives and following my own conversations, I have pledged to raise a variety of concerns on behalf of some of the attendees. I take a lot of pride in my constituency focussed approach in my role as the Member of Parliament for Derby North and I am always incredibly enthusiastic about engaging with, and helping where I can, charities and CICs. I will always champion local issues and I am very pleased these organisations – which are so important for the City of Derby – had the chance to raise their views with the Prime Minister.