County Times Article- 23rd May 2019

I was pleased that as part of the redevelopment of the old BHS store in Swan Walk, Changing Places facilities were opened last month, a successful conclusion to what had been a long campaign. These toilet facilities are hugely important for those with disabilities - providing specialist equipment and extra space.  New facilities are also scheduled for Piries Place.

Having these facilities means Horsham town centre and all it offers from shopping, entertainment and restaurants through to events such as the Great British weekend or Sunday’s Caribbean Festival is more readily accessible to all.

It’s always good to see Horsham lead the way and I was pleased to see the Government launching a consultation this week on how to improve the provision of Changing Places toilets nationally.

On Saturday, I visited St Marks Church in Horsham to learn more about the fantastic work of The Children’s Society. The charity works nationally to support children who feel scared, unloved and unable to cope. This can include children who are young carers, children at risk of criminal exploitation and children who are experiencing mental health issues. It was interesting to discuss the support the charity is giving to young people and what we need to learn and apply locally.

It was great to visit the Youth Project in Southwater on Friday night and present the team with their Duke of Edinburgh Awards Bronze Awards. The DofE Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award and encourages young people to take up challenges such as volunteering, physical activities, life skills and expeditions. I know many adults have great memories of completing their DofE challenge! 

I greatly enjoyed joining Slinfold School for their fete on Sunday and congratulations to the local branch of the Alzheimer’s Society on organising an excellent weekend charity tea party at Warnham Park.

I was also spent  time with the West Sussex County Council Youth Cabinet on Friday, during one of my regular meetings with WSCC. The Cabinet represents the views of young people in West Sussex and it was good to see how engaged these young people were.

This preceded a challenging and thorough discussion with the County Council on Children’s Services and lessons that are being learned and implemented following the recent Ofsted Report.

 

Photo Credit: Jeremy Quin meeting members of the Southwater Youth Group at Beeson House, Southwater to celebrate their Duke of Edinburgh Awards.