Little seen in British press is the news that over 10,000 firearms have been bought by the New Zeland Government in a month as part of a gun buy-back scheme.
51 men women and children were killed in two mosques in March and since then the government has moved rapidly to react to the tragedy. A bill outlawing most automatic and semi-automatic weapons was passed 119 votes to 1 in April and people have till December to hand in now-prohibited weapons under amnesty of under this scheme.
Everyone has mental health. It needs to be seen alongside physical health as something which affects us all and should be talked about without fear or mental reservation. This week, why not continue to help break down these barriers by having a chat with a friend, family member or a colleague and think about your own wellbeing too.
CALM: Campaign Against Living Miserably is one of many charities doing incredible work.
Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. In 2015, 75% of all UK Suicides were male. Everyone has low moments and many of us have had suicidal thoughts of feelings at some point in our lives. It does not mean that is the answer. There are always options, people who you know, don’t know, can or can’t see, who care and can help. To be vulnerable and to open up is sometimes the hardest thing to do and takes immense courage. Talk it over or start a conversation with someone.
A powerful statue arrived in Birmingham today with an even more important message.
Made up from 100,000 knives surrendered as party of weapons amnesties by police forces across the country, it is a powerful reminder to us all of the devastating effects that knife crime can have in our communities and how it is in our hands. I see it as both a reminder of the grief and pain caused to so many by knife crime, but also I feel it carries a message of hope. Each knife surrendered is a step in the right direction. The angel both cradling what is lost, is also looking down upon us, calling upon us all to do our part.
The story behind the Chinese Labour Corp is being displayed at the Chinese Community Centre in Digbeth for a few weeks before being moved to Birmingham Library. It tells of one of the least recognised contributions towards the First World War.
In July 1916, some 50,000 labourers came over from China after a three month journey. Many did not survive the journey. A total of some 100,000 Chinese workers joined the British Chinese Labour Corp supporting the allied war effort.
They were told they would be in non-combatant roles and far from the front lines but as the war progressed without end, their roles grew.
Mainly aged 20-35, the labourers were set about building munition depots, carrying munitions to support front line troops, or repairing supply lines, unloading ships, repairing trenches, roads and railways. At the end of the war they were used for mine clearance, and for a long time after the end of the war, they recovered bodies of soldiers and reinterred into the neat rows we see today, and filled in miles of trenches. Dangerous, hard and remitting work.
They worked ten hour days, 7 days a week, with only three days three holidays. Many went on working till 1920. Many thousands died from disease, a flu epidemic which spread across camps, enemy action or wounds. An estimated 10,000 died. However, some say the number was as high as 20,000.
Tragically at the end of the war, a giant canvas exhibited in Paris at the end of the war- which was at the time the largest painting in the world- showed a victorious France surrounded by her allies. The Chinese workers, whose contribution undoubtedly helped the war effort was literally painted out to allow for the arrival of the United States
Called the forgotten of the forgotten. Britain has over 40,000 war memorials, not a single one is dedicated to the Chinese Labour Corps. An effort led by Steve Lau of the Ensure We Remember CLC Campaign is leading efforts to properly recognise that we indeed remember.
Every year 40,000 children and young people come into care in the UK. We want every child to have stable and loving home where they can thrive.
Home For Good
It all started with a key! For several months I have been supporting Home For Good with their celebratory event in February 2019 at Birmingham Cathedral. The event designed to celebrate the work of foster and adoption families across the city is a brilliant initiative by Home For Good which I was delighted to offer my help towards. The message is simple- we all can play a part in unlocking a home for a child. Take a key and make a commitment to champion fostering and adoption in Birmingham. What can we all do to help find a home for someone without.
Home For Good calls on our faith as Christians to help and care for the vulnerable through the church network to create supportive communities promoting and supporting fostering and adoption.
Celebrating 100 years since the first UK Election in which women were able to vote. Immensely proud of the progress we have made together in ensuring womens’ voices are heard extending the franchise by 8.4 million women. 1928, was a Conservative government which passed the Representation of the People Act giving the vote to all women over the age of 21 on equal terms with men.
Summary of the powerful Samaritans Suicide Statistics Report 2018.
Summary of the key trends contained in this report.
In 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
5,821 suicides were registered in the UK and 392 occurred in the Republic of Ireland.
In the UK men remain three times as likely to take their own lives than women, and in the Republic of Ireland four times more likely.
The highest suicide rate in the UK was for men aged 45-49.
The highest suicide rate in the Republic of Ireland was for men aged 25–34 (with an almost identical rate for men aged 45–54).
There has been a significant decrease in male suicide in the UK, and the male suicide rate is the lowest in over 30 years.
The suicide rate in Scotland decreased between 2016 and 2017 – this appears to be driven by a decrease in the female suicide rate.
Suicide in young men in Scotland increased for the third consecutive year in 2017
We can all do a little something from really asking ‘how are you’ to someone else, striking up a conversation to someone on the train platform, spending a few hours volunteering at a helpline, or fundraising and sharing social media posts. The more we talk about it, the more it becomes okay to talk about it.
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50. Lets talk about it.
Delighted to be down in London with fellow magistrates who are all under 40 and Lord Adonis discussing ways to improve the representation of our magistracy in Britain.
A shocking 96% of magistrates are over 40 and only 12% are BAME. I myself am the only British Chinese Magistrate in the whole of the West Midlands and was the youngest when I got appointed over ten years ago. Time flies, and it has been an immensely enjoyable and rewarding experience making a real and lasting difference to my home city of Birmingham. Would strongly encourage anyone thinking of serving their community to apply and find out more information.
Citizens UK: Birmingham Alliance celebrated six years of community organising in the city this month. The celebration was held with a special event hosted at St Chad’s Cathedral to demonstrate its success and growth throughout the years. The event was attended by 54 leaders from across Birmingham.
I was invited to attend the event for the work I had done alongside fellow Councillors Tristan Chatfield, Waseem Zaffar and Claire Spencer on the successful Community Sponsorship work in the city and efforts to resettle refugees. Special recognition was given to all of us for our leadership and support.
Calling all Young Conservatives! Come get involved!
We have successfully established a Birmingham Young Conservatives Branch. October 2018 26 under 25yr olds came together to form and officially launch the BYCY at the end of the 2018 Conservative Conference together with Tom Pusgrove MP
If you are under 25 and interested in getting involved drop me a message!