21 FEB 2017

Praising volunteer-run local group in Parliament

I praised the invaluable work of Deal-based mental health support group Talk It Out in Parliament this week.

I highlighted Talk It Out's role in supporting people to be ready for employment during Work and Pensions Questions in the House of Commons.

Asking the Minister for Disabled People, Penny Mordaunt MP, I pushed for assurances that such groups will be given more support to carry out their work.

Ms Mordaunt in turn praised the "huge expertise and wisdom" of Talk It Out.

I said: "Does she agree that local voluntary groups such as Talk It Out in my constituency do invaluable work helping people to be work-ready and we must do more to support them?"

Ms Mordaunt replied: "I do agree with my honourable friend that voluntary organisations have huge insight and expertise that we can tap into and I commend the work of Talk it Out in his constituency.

"This is one reason why we are recruiting 200 community partners across the Job Centre Plus network so we can ensure we are reaching all these organisations and benefiting from the huge expertise and wisdom they have."

Talk It Out was founded by Tracy Carr in 2011. It offers confidential sessions online and in person for mental health sufferers when they are feeling particularly low.

The group will soon open a wellbeing café at the Landmark Centre in Deal on a three-month trial basis.

They work tirelessly to make a difference to local people suffering with mental health problems. They deserved to be recognised for it, so they know how grateful people are and so others can follow their lead.

But they do need more help. I want to see better mental health care in Dover and Deal.

Support saves lives and I will keep fighting to make sure things improve.

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Charlie Elphicke

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