Monday, 30 July 2012

Stephen Metcalfe MP helps young Beaver Scouts to complete their Friendship Challenge Award

Earlier this week, Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, visited 1st Pitsea and Vange Beavers Scouts to help some of the youngsters complete a component of their Friendship Challenge Award.

The ‘Meeting Other People’ component required the Beavers to find out about the job or interests of someone in their community and to arrange a visit from someone who serves the community.

Mr Metcalfe was more than happy to oblige.

He said, “It was fantastic to visit the 1st Pitsea and Vange Beaver Colony. It was a pleasure to talk to the children about my job and to spend the evening seeing how a Beaver ‘colony’ runs.”

1st Pitsea and Vange Scout group have been an active part of the local community since 1924 and since then have aimed to provide an environment in which young people can gain self-confidence, enjoy new adventures, experience the outdoors and interact with others.

Beavers, usually aged between 6 and 8, are the first and youngest section in the Scouting family which comprises of 400,000 individual Beavers, Cubs and Scouts and Explorer Scouts.

Mr Metcalfe added: “Not only are the young people learning valuable life skills but they are obviously enjoying the time they spend here. It is extremely encouraging to see children so enthusiastic about the organisation and I hope that the long tradition of Scouting in this area will continue for many years to come.”

“I would also like to add my personal thanks to all the adult volunteers who make it possible to run the group, and would encourage anyone interested in supporting our local young people to get in touch and volunteer within scouting."

“Without their hard work and the commitment of the leaders and helpers, our community would lose a valuable local asset.”


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Stephen Metcalfe hears Holocaust survivor speak at launch of ‘Communities Together: Build a Bridge’; Holocaust Memorial Day 2013 Theme

Stephen Metcalfe was honoured to hear Sabina Miller speak last night at the launch of the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2012; Communities Together: Build a Bridge.  The theme encourages groups and individuals to come together and consider how neighbours have turned on each other, and challenges us to build stronger and more tolerant communities.  This is the first time an HMD theme has been launched at a Parliamentary Reception.

During the reception hosted by Louise Ellman MP and Mike Freer MP, a number of survivors including those who had witnessed the atrocities in Rwanda and Bosnia during the 1990s told the guests how important it was that we continue to honour the victims of genocide, but also to learn the lessons of the past and apply them to our communities and lives today.

Stephen Metcalfe met a number of local HMD activity organisers who have arranged HMD activities in a variety of settings from schools and colleges to local authorities, prisons and places of worship.

Minister for Communities and Local Government, Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP said:
“The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2013 asks us all to remember those communities which were destroyed in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides and to build bridges to a better future.  Holocaust Memorial Day gives us all an opportunity for reflection on the past and for a personal commitment to create stronger communities.  Communities where everyone feels able to take part without fear of discrimination. Communities unafraid to speak out against hate whenever and wherever it occurs.”

Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of Holocaust Memorial Day Trust said “Holocaust Memorial Day 2012 asked everyone to Speak Up, Speak Out whenever they witness prejudice or injustice in their own communities.  Today we launched our poetry booklet of original work inspired by HMD 2012, which can be used in a range of settings.  HMD is just one day, but the booklet helps carry the message through the rest of the year.

“Ahead of HMD 2013, we wanted to show MPs the great work done by individuals in local communities to mark the day and ask them to help their constituents transcend barriers and build bridges to honour the survivors and remember the victims of these atrocities.”

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Hassenbrook Careers Fair a great success.

Stephen with the Head Boy and Girl of Hassenbrook Academy.

Stephen Metcalfe, Member of Parliament for South Basildon and East Thurrock yesterday, visited Hassenbrook Academy’s Careers Fair to lend his support to the students and organisations attending.
Aiming to guide and inspire the pupils, the fair featured a significant number of local businesses and organisations demonstrating the range of opportunities available to students at Hassenbrook.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “This was a fantastic event. It was well organised, well attended and offered something to every pupil. I hope that it raised the aspirations of pupils and opened their eyes to the variety of options available to them after they leave school.”

The fair featured representatives from higher and further education establishments; businesses; charities and organisations. Many of those in attendance were also promoting a number of excellent apprenticeship opportunities.

Stephen Metcalfe added: “The emphasis on apprenticeships was extremely encouraging. In the current economic climate apprenticeships have never been more important. They provide formative experiences that will equip young people with the skills they need for the future.”

“Whichever path the pupils choose, whether that is staying on at school, moving into further or higher education, or joining an apprenticeship scheme; I look forward to seeing their progress as they make the transition from Hassenbrook to the wider world. I also look forward to seeing them benefit from their hard work whilst at the school. I would like to take this opportunity to wish each pupil every success for the future, especially those who have just taken their GCSE’s.”