Weekly news from Caroline Ansell
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Welcome to my e-newsletter!

Welcome to my early bird Bank Holiday e news!

Sunday will bring news on how we begin to move out of lock-down.  Monday won’t see a grand day of liberation and a return to business as normal but it will mark the beginning of change and how we navigate the new landscape, will prove defining to our virus battle plans; as someone very pithily put it, you don’t take off the parachute because you can see the drop zone. 

My virtual life is not about to change any time soon either and this week I’ve ‘zoomed’ (is this now a verb?) with fire chiefs and health leaders, I’ve worked on the Select Committee for Northern Ireland Affairs on Brexit preparedness and with Defra ministers where we announced a targeted hardship fund for dairy farmers, sorely hit when big buyers like McDonalds turned off the tap.  

I was delighted to see one of our local Doctors, Dr Racheal Grimaldi, honoured by the PM this week for her ingenious idea to facilitate communication between PPE clad clinicians and their patients at this time of Covid-19.  Creativity and innovation for our businesses and how we position ourselves as the ultimate staycation destination will be the new order of the day, and has there ever been a better time for one of my favourite campaigns, Made in Eastbourne, which seeks to celebrate and promote our local makers and doers?  It made me smile to see a friend’s facebook memory of five years ago ‘bob up’ this week.  It featured then PM, David Cameron, who had come to town to support me in the General Election of 2015.  How time flies; this lockdown period will too. 

From House to Home 

It’s a real sadness that the 75th anniversary of VE-Day tomorrow will be a muted affair due to Coronavirus.

Even so, I know residents across town will be honouring of the ‘finest generation’ and its victory in defeating Nazism. Here's an excellent run down below of how you might take part. if you've not already made plans.  Please send me any pictures you take, I'd love to see them, and with your permission, to share all round.

We certainly needed some of the spirit of those times during the last few months and I am especially thankful to all those older people - many of whom lived or served through the war years, for the sacrifice they are making by self-isolating at this time.

I know how tough it must be, but it’s vital we stop transmission of this virus to those who are most vulnerable. I can only say it will end and we will be able to meet up with our loved ones again. 

Government work continues at pace around COVID-19 and I was especially pleased to see the recent announcement of a £617 million government discretionary top-up fund to help small businesses. 

This was a game changing announcement that helps businesses, like those in Eastbourne's Enterprise Centre, who missed out on previous grant schemes.

It was a measure I pushed hard for with ministers because I was acutely aware many smaller businesses in shared spaces with no rateable value, had been hard hit by coronavirus but had fallen through the cracks. 

Other major initiatives include a new tracing smartphone app being trialled on the Isle of Wight. This will tell people if they have been near someone with the virus as we use this ‘track-and-trace’ strategy to bring the virus under control and put us in a position to lift the lockdown.

If successful, the government will be asking the whole of the UK to download it to keep the R or reproduction number of the virus under 1.

Of course, what is really needed to get life back to normal is a vaccine and this week the Prime Minister helped host a remote international meeting with other world leaders to fund a joint global effort to research and find one.

We have real hope of a vaccine but not soon. Until then, we will need to use measures like the app and balance social distancing with the need to get the economy moving as best we can. Measures are being drawn up. It will be a challenge but one I am sure we will continue to rise to.

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🌈 Box Full of Rainbow-Gifts for Eastbourne's Key Workers 

Eastbourne resident Tracie Owen and her daughter decided to create little boxes of love to give to Key Workers. However what started as a small gesture delivering to just a few of our amazing key workers has snowballed with over 750 boxes delivered and counting!

Tracie now has a team of volunteers and a Facebook group with nearly 700 members that updates on progress regularly. All this in a little over two weeks!

Box Full of Rainbows accept requests from anyone and will try to make boxes available to those that request them but with so many requests it's a tall order. The idea is to recognise ALL of our key workers and boxes have been delivered to supermarket workers, postal workers and care workers to name but a few.

Tracie wanted to give our key workers care packages that contain treats to say thank you. Gifts include sweets, body sprays, face wipes, biscuits and foot soaks but any gift is welcome.

Feedback from recipients has been amazing and Tracie and her team are fundraising hard to be able to deliver more Boxes Full of Rainbows. If you'd like to donate, nominate a Key Worker or offer to help in any way please get in touch via Facebook:

The team is highly organised and always operate safely within the Governments guidelines. They don't want to turn anyone away and would love your help so they can sustain their operation. 

Thank you Tracie and your team, what you're doing is very special and I know the people of Eastbourne will join me in thanking you!

Need Help? Help is at hand

If you’re feeling isolated, anxious or unwell at home and don’t have anyone that can help you, the Eastbourne community hub may be able to help. 

📞 For Eastbourne:                                          dial 01323 679722
📞 For Willingdon, Wannock and Jevington :   dial 01323 443322

And finally...

And so Bank Holiday fast approaches. No walking in the direction of The Wheatsheaf or any one of my favourite local pubs for me. I’m actually considering cooking.  If you know me well, you’ll know what that might mean for my boys!  In my defence, I can tile and plaster. 

However you’re spending the weekend, stay safe, keep in touch, and with my very best,

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