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Alex Norris MP's Weekly Newsletter

Member of Parliament for Nottingham North
31st May 2019
Issue #98

Welcome to the latest issue of my weekly newsletter. 

Parliament rose for recess on Thursday, but on Sunday we received the results of the EU Elections. This was obviously a difficult night. We’ve already seen lots of attempts to fit results to narratives that were decided in advance. I believe we’re better served waiting until we see the full picture, but I’m very proud that Nottingham once again put its trust in Labour. 

As it’s been recess this week, this newsletter will be a Rebalancing special, setting out who we are, what our aims are and what we have planned.  

Read on to find out more... 

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.

Rebalancing the Outer Estates

Rebalancing the Outer Estates Foundation is a small charity based in Bulwell, Nottingham.

We were established in July 2014 by my predecessor as MP for-Nottingham North, Graham Allen, and achieved charitable status in 2015. With the support of partners, we established a small team of staff to focus on improving Nottingham North and the lives of the people who live here. When I was elected in 2017, I also assumed Graham’s position as Chair of the Board and have been leading Rebalancing ever since. 

On the board I am joined by: 

  • Steve Parkinson - Founder of The Toy Library in Bulwell 
  • Elaine Fox - Corporate Policy and Performance Officer at Nottingham City Council 
  • Stephen Barker - CEO of the Creative Quarter Company 
  • Alison Challenger - Director of Public Health at Nottingham City Council 
  • Kathy Sheldon – Assistant Director of Tenancy & Estate Services at Nottingham City Homes 
  • Linda Abbott – Bulwell EAZ Manager

They all contribute massively in different ways to the work we do, which is focused on four main areas:  

  • Health and Wellbeing 
  • Employment, Skills and Enterprise  
  • Arts and Creativity  
  • Community 

We work in partnership with a range of organisations to enable and support positive change. At the heart of our approach is a commitment to facilitate networks and build strong and healthy communities. 

We are a unique organisation - innovative in our approach to making a real and lasting difference to the communities we serve. We hope to demonstrate that things can get done when we work together. 

I’ll now go into some more detail on some of our main projects within three of the four main streams above – only three as Community is entwined into everything that we do.

Public Health

Lung Health – This life-saving lung health programme, in collaboration with the Roy Castle Foundation, is being rolled out in Aspley, with another two scanning days taking place in June, and one further to follow. This has been a tremendous success, and I’ve been in discussions to spread the positive lessons we’ve learnt and make sure the difference we’re already making here in Nottingham North can be replicated far wider. 

Local Health and Wellbeing Group - A multi-agency group has been set-up to explore how we can get more people ‘active’ within the Bulwell area (statistics highlight that within Bulwell 57% the population are obese or overweight which is significantly higher than the National average). This recently began its journey with a listening event focused on the Crabtree Estate. Our aim with this project is to engage the community about the area, what it’s like to live there, are there things they used to do and don’t now and whether and why they have stopped doing them, together with engaging them to try and bring about change. 

Social Prescribing - Social prescribing involves helping patients to improve their health, wellbeing and social welfare by connecting them to community services which might be run by the council or a local charity. For example, signposting people who have been diagnosed with dementia to local dementia support groups. To help support this, a Community Together Surgery has started in Bestwood (meeting once a month) and we are hopeful of developing the Bulwell one at Crabtree Community Centre in the near future. 

Arts and Creativity

Arts Festivals - These were a tremendous success last year, and we have another 4 lined up for the summer: 

  • Basfest - Basford Summer Showcase: Monday 10th – Friday 14th June 4 local primaries coming together to promote the activities that happen all-year-round and inviting the wider community in to see exhibitions and performances.  
  • Bestwood Cultural Festival: Saturday 15th June launch at Bestwood Park Church – Wednesday 19th June with activities in schools and the community  
  • Bilborough Arts Festival: Saturday 29th June – Saturday 6th July Launch day at Bilborough Library on Saturday 29th June and then a week of workshops and events culminating Bilborough Fest, youth music festival on 6th July.  
  • Bulwell Arts Festival: Saturday 6th July to Saturday 13th July. A fun-packed family arts weekend at Bulwell Academy on Saturday 6th and Bulwell Market Place on Sunday 7th July and a week of workshops, events and performances with community organisations support. The programme is available here.

Arts Council Funding - The Arts Council funding which has driven the creative work of Rebalancing is coming to an end, but having met with Arts Council England alongside Cathy Mahmood, who ran Creative Nottingham North, we have been encouraged to apply again. We have some hard work to do to ensure our application is accepted.

Employment, Skills and Enterprise

Nottingham North Jobs Fair - Back in March this successful event took place with 631 attendees. We’re still waiting to hear how many people it helped into work as well as analysing the other information we collected so that we can improve upon it next year, as planning will need to begin soon! 

Parents into Employment - This helpful program ran during April and May in Bestwood. Nine regular attendees covered sessions on CV writing, where to look for jobs, personal development, universal credit, mindfulness and self-employment. The final session on May 21st session included sessions on personal presentation and styling, a certificate ceremony and Next Steps to channel participants into local support organisations. The sessions have been well received and we've already had requests from support workers to run in other areas including Aspley, Bulwell and Hyson Green. We’ll see what we can do. 

Nottingham College in the Community - This July, Nottingham College will be running four one day courses from Bestwood Estate Community Centre, aimed at people on zero hours contracts and bank staff. People on these work contracts are not able to access free training but could benefit from it to move them into more stable/better paid employment. Here are the courses:  

  1. Non-accredited Emergency First Aid – 5th July  
  2. Non-accredited Personal Presentation – 8th July  
  3. Accredited HABC Food Safety – 15th July  
  4. Accredited HABC Health and Safety – 16th July 
More details on these can be found in the What's On section below.

All in all, we have a very busy few months ahead, and a number of challenges to tackle, which we will do with enthusiasm and determination to make Nottingham North a better place. 

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Next week will be back to normal, as Parliament returns. The Tory leadership contest is likely to overshadow Parliamentary business, but I’ll be working hard on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill Committee, asking a Justice Question, and spending time in the Constituency.

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,


Joining Blind Veterans
Have you served in the Armed Forces? In the UK Regular Armed Forces, including National Service.
Or UK Reserved Armed Forces. Reservists must have completed one year’s satisfactory service following training (or qualified for Bounty) or a lesser period if blinded on duty.
Or Polish/Indian Forces under British Command or Merchant Navy deployed within a combat zone in direct support of UK military forces.
You have significant sight loss- visual acuities worse than 6/60  in both eyes or struggle to see top letter of the eye chart. Optician or eye clinic to confirm.
If you meet our criteria for sight loss you can get free support. Help in the form, of Rehabilitation, training, peer support, grants, Sports and recreation.
We also run local social groups in Nottingham.
Please contact 0800 389 7979 for an application form. We can complete the form by telephone too, you will need your service record details. If you want to discuss further ring Mary James, Community Team Leader on 0114 2127612
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.
For further info:

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:,

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

Athlete Accelerator
Khian Mility is helping young athletes reach their potential, with the goal of obtaining US College Sports Scholarships. For further information please visit his website.

Whiz Kids
Special breakfast, followed by stories, games, crafts & fun!
St Mary the Virgin & All Souls Parish Church, Highbury Road, Bulwell
Sundays, 9.30-11.15am
For more info contact Kerry Palmer - 0115 953 1780 or by email.

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

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 © 2019 Alex Norris MP, All rights reserved.

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