With the Coronavirus pandemic still very much on everyone’s minds, it’s only right that I take the time in this week’s column to outline what my team and I have been doing to assist my constituents during this worrying time.
Since the news of this terrible virus broke, I have received hundreds of emails from people right across the constituency, asking about the support available for businesses, employees, the self-employed, elderly and vulnerable people, Key Workers and more.
Within the last two weeks alone, we have responded to almost 300 of these enquiries, with more arriving every day, by either raising concerns with the Government on the behalf of constituents, answering any questions people may have and directing people to the relevant support available to them.
I’ve also received a great many enquiries on my social media, which is why I have set up a dedicated Coronavirus Advice page on my website, which can be accessed at https://www.jamesgrundy.org.uk/coronavirus-advice. This website outlines the Government’s advice on a whole range of issues, as well as addressing the concerns my constituents have raised with me most and will be regularly updated with the latest guidance.
In amongst people’s enquiries about Coronavirus, it has been heartening to also see the offers of volunteers and businesses in supporting the national effort against the virus. Within the first 24 hours of the “Good Sam” volunteering website going live, we reached the 250,000 target of volunteers and now we have over 700,000 new volunteers ready to help the NHS. If you are interested in volunteering, you can by visiting https://www.goodsamapp.org/.
In addition to this, I’ve also received emails from local businesses who are able to help produce medical equipment to help our front-line staff. Last week, I spoke with a business based in Golborne in the Leigh constituency who are converting their production line to help make ventilator components. I have also spoken to a firm based in St Helens, who are working with another firm in Leigh to help create the Visors required for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). I will continue working with them and the Government in order to help these businesses support our NHS and those most in need. I would like to pay tribute to these businesses for coming forward to help during this national crisis.
It is so important that over the coming days and weeks, we all continue to play our part in helping fight Coronavirus, by staying at home, protecting our NHS and as a result, helping save lives. This is why in accordance with Government guidance, I have taken the decision to close my constituency office and both my team and I have been working from home.
Despite this, it is still incredibly important that, as your MP, I can support as many of you as I can during this time. So, if anyone does have any questions or concerns about Coronavirus or any other local and national issues, please do not hesitate to still get in touch, either by email – firstname.lastname@example.org – or by telephone on 01942 857 326. Don’t worry if you can’t get through, leave a voicemail and I will respond to you as soon as I can.