Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero urges residents to show their community spirit

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CAN YOU HELP - Community spirit is something we hear about all the time and I think we have it in abundance in Ashfield. This was no more apparent to me than when I recently met with staff, volunteers and local residents who are all fighting to keep the Tin Hat Centre open.

They are desperately seeking financial help and support, no matter how big or small, which would tide them over and secure the long term future of the centre.

If there are any local businesses out there that might be able to help or perhaps even become a corporate sponsor then please do get in touch with Paulette, the manager, on 01773 864510. Save our Tin Hat Centre and become a community hero.
Politicians can talk a lot of nonsense that seems to bear no relationship to what’s going on in the real world a lot of the time. However, last Thursday the House of Commons really was different when MPs - myself included - took part in a debate on mental health.

Mental illness has touched me through a family member. I wanted to talk about my personal experience because the fact that it’s rarely discussed can make it harder for those experiencing it to speak openly and seek help.

Mental illness will affect 1 in 4 of us at some point in our lives. I’m talking about it in this column and I spoke about it in the House of Commons debate because talking about mental health is the first step to combating the stigma which surrounds this all too common illness.
Finally, I went to see a play called This House last week. Though I’m not a regular theatre go-er I wouldn’t have missed this one because it was written by Kirkby lad James Graham.

I caught up with him backstage and he told me he wouldn’t have been able to achieve the things he has without the fantastic education he got at Ashfield School. He singled out drama teacher Mr Humphrey for particular praise. I bet James will go on to achieve huge things in his life because he has such talent but I know he’ll never ever forget his roots and those who helped him along the way. Now that’s a sentiment which deserves an encore.