Over the past week I’ve been struck by the strength of our community spirit and caring culture around Havant.
Whether its caring for vulnerable residents, protecting our local environment, or training our young people, I’ve met inspirational local organisations and individuals making a difference.
It was great to meet the hard-working volunteers and lively members at the Emsworth Day Out Scheme.
The popular befriending group for people living with disabilities provides a key opportunity to socialise for some of the most vulnerable members of the community.
Another organisation committed to looking out for others is the Havant Men’s Shed, which brings together men of all ages, especially old men, for companionship.
I was delighted to attend their AGM last week in Bedhampton.
Their focus is on improving men’s mental health. I also spoke at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Crookhorn supporting their elderly activity group – Vintage Wine – run by Mike and Lesley Quinton.
The pair do great work in organising guest speakers and training courses for members.
I’ve also seen efforts to make sure we are caring for our local environment. I’m supporting Hayling beekeeper John Geden’s appeal for crowdfunding following the destruction of his apiary by Storm Katie last month.
John is the founder of Sinah Common Honey, who are seeking £2,000 to help revive the local bee population as well as their business.
I joined Natural England on Hayling Island to support their coastal protection work around the island including flood defences at Eastoke Corner.
Needing refreshment afterwards, it was great to meet Ann and her friendly team at the newly-refurbished Prince of Wales pub in Bedhampton.
We must also nurture our young people as they begin their professional careers. I was delighted to visit employer-led training specialists PETA at their engineering training site in Havant, where they are preparing our future tradesmen and women.
The excellent Cadets of Platoon 4, B Company, based in Leigh Park, are our future Army leaders, and I enjoyed meeting them at their evening drill session last week. The cadets are also involved in a wide range of charity work.
Thanks to readers for your continuing support – and for casting nominations for my Havant Small Business Awards 2016. The finalists will be announced in The News shortly.