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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
24th August 2018
Issue #59

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter.

This week I have a feature on Headway Nottingham, a terrific charity working locally who I visited on Tuesday, as well as everything else I’ve been up to locally. And as it was GCSE results day yesterday, a bit on that too!

And as I’ve already mentioned, over the Summer I’m running a priorities survey to give you the chance to tell me what matters most to you. This gives you the opportunity to tell me where you think I should be putting my time and effort, and what issues specifically of those I've been focussing on are most important to you.  

You can then complete the survey by clicking the following link. I look forward to receiving all your good ideas.

Of course, if you have other areas you'd like me to work on, you can always email me at

Read on to find out what I’ve been up to this week...

As I’ve said before, I will strive to send you a newsletter like this each Friday to keep you updated on the work I’m doing in Parliament as well as in our community, and to inform you of any interesting events taking place in our area. To help me with the latter, if you are running or know of anything that you think may be of interest to others, feel free to drop me an email at and I will include it in future issues. Please also forward it onto anyone you think may be interested.

Headway Nottingham

This Tuesday I visited Headway Nottingham’s day centre in Bilborough to see first-hand some of the incredible work that they’re doing for people who have acquired brain injuries (ABIs). Not only do the staff at Headway Nottingham, led by Services Manager Charlotte Leask (who started off as a volunteer!), offer support and services to those living in Nottinghamshire who have sustained a brain injury, along with their families and carers, they’re also dedicated to promoting the understanding of all aspects of brain injury. This is an important pursuit in an area that I don’t think many people know as much as they could – myself included – so I’m going to use the next part of this newsletter to do the same.

When thinking of a brain injury, it’s quite natural to imagine a traumatic incident caused by a fall or an accident of some sort, but these are just one aspect of ABIs. But there are many more less obvious ways that lead to there being an ABI hospital admittance every 90 seconds in the UK, such as from a stroke, brain tumour or heart attack, to name but a few. Chances are you know someone who has been affected and may even be living with an ABI and the difficulties that can come with it. You might not even know it, as the effects can be very different in manifestation and severity.

Indeed, no two brain injuries are the same. However, there are some common longer-term effects of brain injury, which can be put into three categories:

  • Physical symptoms which can affect how your body works, such as:
    • fatigue and tiredness
    • mobility difficulties
    • sensory impairment
    • speech difficulties, and more
  • Cognitive symptoms which can affect how you think, learn and remember, such as:
    • Memory issues
    • Reduced initiation and motivation
    • Reduced concentration
    • Impaired reasoning
    • Language loss, and more
  • Emotional and behavioural symptoms, which can affect how you feel and act, such as:
    • Personality changes
    • Loss of confidence
    • Mood swings
    • Depression, and more
Understandably, any of these can be difficult to adapt to and live with, for both the sufferer and their families and carers, which is why Headway Nottingham offer a wide range of services to help. I was shown around their day centre, where about 85 clients a week come for rehabilitation. This begins with support from their Outreach Service. When I was there the centre was very busy, with new clients working with their Outreach Workers to plan their futures, and existing clients enjoying and benefiting from the activities and workshops that were being put on.

The Outreach Workers handle all new referrals and are the first people that clients meet with. They fill a wide range of roles, but ultimately act as a support mechanism, by providing general advice and support, advocacy, running day centre services like workshops, events and other activities, liaising with other professionals, providing benefits advice, and mostly pointing clients in the right direction.

Beyond the direct work with clients, Headway Nottingham know that brain injury doesn't just affect the person living with the condition, but also those around them,  so their staff are always at the end of the phone offering support and advice, as well as the chance to have some respite from caring safe in the knowledge that their loved one is happy and well looked after.

One other thing I learnt during my visit, was that Headway Nottingham are currently seeking applicants for their Board of Trustees, particularly welcoming applicants with knowledge and experience of small business, comms and PR, IT and fundraising. If you are interested, click here.

My Week in the Constituency

Recess means no time in Westminster, which means more time in Nottingham, and therefore more time to spend with local people, campaigners, groups and other organisations, all of which are doing tremendous work that I’m proud to support. Here’s what this involved this week:

  • On Tuesday morning I met with Khian Mility, a former athlete turned functional movement and injury specialist, who now works with young athletes to help them reach their potential. He is currently looking to work with schools and sports clubs in the area, which is what we met to discuss.
  • I visited St Martha’s Church in Broxtowe where Hope Nottingham, a local Christian charity, run a foodbank. Nigel Adams, the Director of Hope Nottingham, welcomed me to discuss the ongoing work the charity is doing and some of the issues they are facing. Through Hope House, their one-stop community centre, and their foodbanks, Hope help people to get out of crisis by directing them to life-changing support, as well as facilitating networking across Churches, in support of their shared mission.
  • I met with Keith Jamieson, Chair of the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Nottingham, to discuss their annual report. As we know, this prison has had ongoing problems since I was elected, including multiple deaths, and given the recent national news regarding other major prisons, this was a very useful opportunity to get into more detail about the situation close to us. I have raised this issue frequently in Parliament and will continue to do so. I am also meeting the Prisons Minister next month.
  • I was welcomed to Birchover Community Centre by Nigel Jackson. The Community Centre is a wonderful local venue for social clubs, wedding receptions and wakes, but requires volunteers and external funding to keep prices reasonable, so Nigel and I discussed this as he showed me around.
  • While I have a surgery coming up this afternoon, I also met with and spoke to a few constituents about other issues they’re having and how my team and I can try to help them out.
  • In last week’s newsletter I mentioned the Social Prescribing steering group that Rebalancing is working with – well this week I discuss this further with Alison Challenger, Director of Public Health at the City Council.
  • Just this morning, I visited Lilian Hind Court, a retirement housing complex in Bulwell, to have a cup of tea and a chat with the residents there. This was a great opportunity to hear their views. If you live in a similar scheme, please invite me to come by.

Following that visit I’ve been out and about with Councillors in Aspley and now heading to my latest surgery. As always, if you’d like to come talk to me at one about any issues you’re having, just get in touch with me by calling 0115 975 2377 or emailing, and we’ll get you a slot.

GCSE Results Day

As we know, yesterday was GCSE results day, so I’d just like to take a moment to congratulate everyone on their hard work and results. It will have been a very nerve racking time I’m sure and I hope after all the effort you’ve put in, that you got the results you were after.

But if you haven’t done quite as well as you’d hoped, it certainly isn’t the end of the world, and there will be plenty more opportunities for you to continue along the path you want. It is important though that you act quickly (if you haven’t already), by seeking out assistance and contacting any organisations, whether your school or another college, that you’d like to attend, or looking into other avenues that could suit your journey.

If you need any extra help with this, please do contact my office ( or 0115 975 2377) and my team will be able to help you. Otherwise, there’s a list of useful numbers below. Congratulations once again and good luck!

What's On

I want these emails to be as interesting as possible. That means there’ll be some politics – it’s important that I am held accountable. But I also want to offer information about what’s on locally. So, if you have an event you’d like me to advertise, let me know.

If you would like your events advertised here, or further information on those advertised, please email me at

That’s all for now! Details of how to get in touch or to have a look at the things I’m doing are below…

All the best,


New Wellbeing/Self-Help Group
An opportunity to meet new people, make new friends, and help you build up confidence and self-esteem.
Identify areas of your own wellbeing - physically & mentally.
Referral support to other services & support.
Friendly & comfortable environment, with no pressure to talk.
Hosted in the West Room, St Mary’s the Virgin & All Souls Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell, NG6 9AD.
The first meeting is on Monday 10th September 2018, 10:30am - 12pm
For further info:

WAIS Paws in the Park
Bring your pooch for a 5km sponsored dog walk and help raise funds for our pet fostering project which helps pets and families to find safety from domestic abuse
Rushcliffe Country Park, Ruddington
Sunday, 23rd September, 11:30-16:30
For more info click here.

Poems in the Pub
Open Mic Night, Free Admission, Local Talent, Full Bar
The William Peverel, Bulwell
First Thursday in the month, 7:30pm start.
Next one October 4th

Drop in Café
All welcome for a free cuppa and biscuit, and a place to sit and have a chat
Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Parish Community Centre, Brooklyn Rd, Bulwell NG6 9ES
Thursdays, 9:30am–12:30pm

Messy Church
Drinks, crafts, activities, bible stories and a meal for all ages and interests
Bulwell United Reformed Church, Broomhill Road/Brooklyn Road, Bulwell
Usually first Saturday of every month, 10:30am-12:30pm

Bestwood Park Church’s Bestop Kitchen
Social Eating Event, Donations Welcome
Bestwood Park Church, Beckhampton Road, NG5 5NG
Every Tuesday, 12-2pm

Whiz Kids Junior Church
Free breakfast, arts & crafts for children aged 5ish – 11ish
St Mary the Virgin & All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
Every Sunday, 9:30am

Crafty Ladies
Bring along a project, or learn to do something new.
St Martins Church, St Martin’s Rd, Off Strelley Rd, Bilborough, NG8 3BH
Every Wednesday, 11am – 2pm
50p, for further info:,


Best Small Shops Competition
Calling all small shops in Nottingham North – what makes your shop stand out? Nominate yourself for the Best Small Shops Competition in Parliament at

Women's Aid Bake a Difference
Throughout September, raise money for Women's Aid by having your own bake sale. This is an opportunity for individuals, companies, coffee shops and community groups across Nottingham and South Nottinghamshire to raise funds and awareness about their work.
For more info click here.

Messy Church
All welcome – food, fun, arts & crafts, & God slot
St Mary the Virgin & All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
2nd Sunday every month, 3-5pm

Messy Church Bestwood/Bulwell Forest
Bestwood Park Church, Beckhampton Rd, Bestwood Park
Various Thursdays, 4:30-6pm
Church on Rise Park, Revelstoke Way, Rise Park
Various Thursdays, 5-6:30pm

Free Community Cinema
Free screenings of films, everyone welcome!
St John’s Church, Key’s Close, Bulwell
2nd Friday every month, 7pm

Bulwell Connectors
Free monthly group developing opportunities for more art in public places in Bulwell. With trips to galleries and hands-on creative workshops, this group is for local people who want to be arts champions for Bulwell. Facilitated by Nottingham Contemporary associate artist Gillian Brent
Bulwell Riverside, Community Room 2 
2nd Tuesday every month, 6-8pm
For further info:, @CreativeNNorth,

Crochet Clinic
Community Room at Tesco Bulwell, Jennison St, NG6 8EQ (upstairs near the cafe)
First Wednesday of every month, 6:30pm–8:30pm
£5 (covers refreshments and materials)
For further info:,

How to contact me

If you would like to contact me, please email or give my Nottingham North constituency office a ring on 0115 975 2377.

If you are a constituent from Nottingham North e-mailing me regarding a casework issue you are my priority, so please ensure your message includes:
  • your full name
  • your full postal address, including postcode
  • a contact telephone number and
  • any helpful details relevant to your case such as date of birth, reference numbers etc.
Strict parliamentary protocol means I can only deal with issues on behalf of my own constituents. If you aren’t sure whether you live in Nottingham North, you can check who your local MP is by entering your postcode online here:

You may also wish to write to me with your concerns. If so please send your correspondence to Alex Norris MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A OAA. All constituents who take the time and trouble to write a personal letter will receive a reply as a matter of priority.
Other useful links
  • If you’d like to learn more about the Labour party their website is here.
  • To join the Labour Party click here.
  • Benefits Information: Here’s an excellent site that allows you to find out exactly what benefits you are eligible to claim: EntitledTo
  • Housing: please contact your City Council
  • Problems with benefits or the Child Support Agency? The Citizens Advice Bureau and the Nottingham Welfare Rights Service can give advice. Remember to have your National Insurance number handy if you make an inquiry.
  • Local schools / education matters: please contact your City Council.
  • Employment rights: see Citizens Advice Bureau or the Trades Union Congress for info.
  • Social services, environmental health, noise nuisance, parking, and Council Tax should all be addressed to the City Council.
  • Another useful website on public services is
  • For the main Parliamentary website click here and to explore the Parliamentary education site click here.
Copyright © 2018 Alex Norris MP, All rights reserved.

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