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Gareth Davies MP for Stamford and Bourne reflects on activities available in South Kesteven

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Last week we experienced the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, with 16 hours and 43 minutes of daylight, writes Gareth Davies MP for Stamford and Bourne. I am sure many of us associate summer’s longer days and better weather with good times and wellbeing, whether that’s relaxing on holiday or open-air activities.

Of course, sport is not just for summer, and wellbeing is just as much an all-round thing. This is recognised by the scouts, who have an initiative to create 10,000 ‘Wellbeing Champions’ by first educating members in the various components of wellbeing - to connect, to be active, to take notice, to learn, and to give - and then encouraging them to take action not just as individuals, but also sharing these resources and helping others improve their wellbeing.

With all the fantastic work scouts do to serve our community, I was only too ready to volunteer to help promote the ‘Celebration of Scouting and Volunteer Recruitment Day’ by wearing the 2nd Stamford necker in the House of Commons chamber.

MP Gareth Davies wears the 2nd Stamford Scouts necker in the House of Commons
MP Gareth Davies wears the 2nd Stamford Scouts necker in the House of Commons

Another incredible local organisation, which I have written about in these pages before, is ‘Inspire+’. Across South Kesteven, they are improving the wellbeing of our children by providing sports programmes for schools and mentoring for students suffering low confidence.

I am a strong supporter of access to sport being supported by long-term funding. So I was pleased by recent national announcements of £320m of PE and Sport Premium for the next two years. This includes £11m for the ‘School Games’ programme to give particularly passionate and talented young people the opportunity to compete.

Of course, wellbeing is not just physical, but also mental. I was reminded in my recent meeting with Kidney Research UK, a charity which supports those with kidney illnesses.

I was struck by their research which shows that over two-thirds of kidney patients experience depression. They are right to highlight that it is vital for the wellbeing of patients that this important side of treatment is not overlooked.

I am pleased we have so many people and organisations locally who are increasingly focused on wellbeing. It is easy to get distracted with the day-to-day responsibilities of life, but crucially we must all take care of ourselves and others for a happy and healthy life.

Finally, I would like to update readers on the proposed local Mallard Pass project, having expressed concerns before about its scale and impact on nearby communities.

Following my question in the House of Commons recently, I met this week with Energy Minister Greg Hands MP to raise residents’ serious concerns with him directly.

The second round of consultation has now opened and I continue to strongly urge those impacted to submit their views by August 4 at www.mallardpasssolar.co.uk/have-your-say.

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