Weekly news from Caroline Ansell
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Welcome to my e newsletter!

Good morning all from my new 'office-by-sea' and welcome to my e newsletter. 

This week was my last ‘week in two halves’ for a while. The business in Parliament wrapped up on Wednesday night with the Coronavirus Bill, legislation essential to our ability to function as a nation in these challenging days ahead. Parliament itself was strangely quiet as you would expect with social distancing the order of the day, compounded by remote-working by hundreds and thousands across the estate. 
But the work of government goes on. 
Every day I am connected to the Cabinet Office via a teleconference call which enables me to feed in local issues to ministers, lobby for support and get important direction. My additional role and responsibilities in Defra, the Government Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affaires, means I’m connected to every MP across the land as we navigate this new social landscape. Critically important food production, food supply chains, animal welfare.. all come within the remit of the Secretary of State who I support in my role as his Parliamentary Private Secretary. 
I love this photo released from No 10. It's a reflection of new ways of working and thanks to the wonders of technology, I've been in touch with hundreds of local people this week by email, whatsapp, text and telephone; I’ve also ‘met’ our local council leader and officers, hospital staff and business owners by Zoom. 
The mission field is vast and I’ve never been busier. 
From House to Home 
It’s been an incredibly challenging and dramatic seven days with the UK now in effective lockdown as we battle to control Coronavirus.

Cases continue to rise and tragically, so do deaths. It is absolutely imperative we stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives.

That some people are still not taking this outbreak seriously is as unbelievable as it is incredibly disappointing. Please undertake social distancing. That means staying 6ft or two metres apart when out. Gatherings of more than two, unless they are family members you live with, are also now not possible.

Only together we can get through and I have been heartened about how together the country and Eastbourne and Willingdon has been. A big shout out to 3VA in Eastbourne, which is doing great work co-ordinating volunteers, ensuring supplies get to the vulnerable and there is food and hygiene goods for the banks. I have seen local taxi companies getting involved in delivering supplies and a great many people have volunteered to help the NHS in the area and nationally. I would particularly like to thank the amazing 11,788 people who have answered the call to return to the NHS. Their skills will be much needed in the weeks ahead. In addition, 5,500 final year medics and 18,700 final year student nurses will also move to the front line to help the NHS - a quite humbling set of figures. A call has also gone out for 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS and the response has been incredible. Thank you to everyone who is doing their bit. My husband Nick and I have signed up too.

The Government continues to do all it can to help workers, the vulnerable and the economy deal with Coronavirus. Just yesterday, the Chancellor unveiled further support would be made for the self-employed. This is something I have been very vocal about with ministers and they have listened to my concerns. It is right and fair these people, who do so much to make the economy work, receive support.

But back to The Bug and I was astounded to watch professor Hugh Montgomery explain why this virus is so infectious. In short, he explained a person passes on a normal flu bug to around 1.3 people. If that happens ten times then around 14 people have got that bug. But with coronavirus or Covid-19, one person passes on to three people and if those pass it on to three people too then over ten times, it has been passed to 59,000 people.

There’s food for thought.
The NHS needs volunteers 

The NHS needs volunteers to help the most vulnerable during this Coronavirus outbreak.

If you want to volunteer to help the NHS, visit:

3VA is coordinating volunteer groups in Eastbourne. You can find out 5 ways to help your community during the coronavirus outbreak by visiting the following link:…/5-ways-help-your-community-during-…

Help for the Self employed  

📣 The Government has announced a new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to support those who work for themselves.

➡️ The government will pay self-employed people, who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus, a taxable grant worth 80% of their average income over the last three years, up to £2,500 per month, for at least three months.

➡️ Self-employed people who are eligible can apply directly to HMRC for the grant, HMRC will then pay the grant straight into your bank account.

➡️ This scheme will be open to those with income of £50,000 or less, who make the majority of their income from self-employment.

➡️ The welfare system has been changed so that self-employed people can now access Universal Credit in full.

➡️ A self-employed person with a non-working partner and two children, living in the social rented sector, can receive welfare support of around £1,800 per month.

Business support from the Government  
Click on the link below for full details on the Government's support to business and employers in Eastbourne and Willingdon.
Local Shout Out  

Dear All

This is the first time that I have so brazenly done this but I am contacting all our friends, volunteers, trustees and staff to ask for a donation to help the charity in the current crisis.

We are striving to keep the charity's vital services going because we know how important they are to the people in this town.

Over the last week we have monitored and adapted what we can do whilst all the time keeping the health and safety of our clients in the foremost of our minds.

As I write the Venton Centre remains open from 9 a.m. to 2 pm primarily as a place where older people can meet and offer mutual support as well as getting the support of our staff and volunteers.

We are keeping information and advice going by telephone and our homecare/nail care services are continuing. The sheds also remain open with restrictions around attendance times.

If you are able to help with a donation, no matter how small, it would be gratefully received. I realise that this might be especially difficult for those who have been told to go on unpaid leave or had your hours reduced by your employers so if you can't afford it I understand completely

For up to date information on what we are currently offering please check out our website

If you would like to donate please go to  our Just Giving Page

Or go to our website and press the "make a donation" button


And finally...
It’s been a strange week. I came back home, to Eastbourne for sure but to a holiday flat near the seafront - not exactly a long distance move from Old Town but new and different all the same. Nick & I and the boys have moved out so my parents, who are in the vulnerable group, can safely self-isolate. No more Scottish pancakes for me! Where we are now, I hear the seagulls and the Pier clock. A huge thank you to Kristian at The Eastbourne Hospitality Association. 
I’ve volunteered for the NHS but wont be stepping out for a week or so to be confident that I’ve left London behind. I’ve sent my very best to Boris and Matt who are valiantly working on, while they fight off a brush with the virus.
I was home in time for the 8 pm clap for all on the frontline of caring for us on Thursday night. Where we are now, we couldn’t see anyone in the dark streets but could hear loud applause, whistles and shouts coming from every direction. It was moving and inspiring. We’re still in the foothills of this present crisis but I believe, with all my heart, that we will come through this. 
Take care, keep in touch and with my very best.

Copyright © 2020 *Caroline Ansell*, All rights reserved.