Since first being elected in 2010, over 10,000 people in our town have started an apprenticeship and I am determined that the despite the economic cost of Covid-19, our bright young people are given the opportunities they deserve and the chance to succeed.

That is why I am pleased that the government has announced, as part of our levelling up agenda, generous cash incentives to all employers who take on an apprentice.

The government has also announced a Kickstart Employment Scheme which will enable employers here in Swindon to offer a work placement to a young person aged between 16 and 24 who is unemployed, and the government will cover their wages and training costs.

This £2 billion scheme puts young people right at the heart of our economic recovery by supporting those at risk of long-term unemployment into paid, six-month placements across the private, public and voluntary sectors.

We know that for young people a lack of real-world work experience can be a barrier to getting a foot on the jobs ladder, so I am fully supportive of the decisive action the government is taking to help young people gain experience, build skills and boost their career prospects.

If you are a local employer here in Swindon, large or small, and you would like to find out more about these schemes, or you are a lone person who would like to know more, please get in touch by emailing me on or visit

Getting dressed for most of us is something that we do not think about, but if you suffer from a life-long condition it can be a big challenge. That is where the fantastic Dressability charity comes in. This almost unique organisation adapts clothing for people with conditions to help themselves with the ordinary things of life.

It is great news that Dressability have received £26,000 a year in funding from the National Lottery to run an outreach service to help local organisations and other charities adapt even more clothes and reach a wider audience.

I am passionate about raising awareness of disability issues and have run the Swindon Half Marathon to try and help raise vital funds for charities like Dressability. If you are a group working with people who have life-long condition or difficulties with getting dressed, please get in touch with

This year has been the most difficult in the history of our NHS. Many of its staff have faced their own personal challenges at home due to Covid-19, but despite this, they have worked tirelessly, often putting their own lives at risk to care for residents in our town.

It is important that local residents are given the change to acknowledge and thank each and every one of these local NHS heroes. That is why I am organising a Local Parliamentary Awards. If you know a local NHS worker who has gone out of their way during this global pandemic, please get in touch and share their story with me.