I hope everyone has being enjoying the glorious weather this week. I was however dismayed by the images of crowds gathering at beaches and beauty spots. We all must remember we are still facing a virus pandemic and number of incidences will increase if we gather in crowds.
I would ask that everyone try and keep socially distanced, remember you can now meet in private gardens and we are blessed with plenty of green spaces so do try and find more empty areas vs gathering in popular spots.

Several you have been in touch concerned about the environmental impact of us all using disposable face coverings and gloves to keep safe. I share these concerns especially as we all want our recovery out of lockdown to be greener and more sustainable. I would there ask you to think about using reuseable face coverings and gloves instead of disposable ones. Reuseable are just as safe as long as you remember to wash regularly between uses.


New Covid-19 Response Fund grants issued
Richmond Council has approved grants for community projects tackling the local impact of the Coronavirus crisis.
The £100,000 Covid-19 Response Fund was set up as part of the Council’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The aim is to get money quickly to organisations that are on the ground now helping vulnerable people through the crisis.
Members have already approved awards to eight organisations, and now six more are set to receive funding.
These are:

  1. Barn Elms Sports Trust: Providing a safe, monitored area for the local community to undertake their daily exercise
  2. Crossroads Care: Help towards funding for a regulated senior caseworker to support the change in service during Covid-19.
  3. Momentum Children’s Charity: Providing virtual support sessions for families whose child has cancer, a life-challenging condition or has recently died
  4. Richmond Borough Mind: Providing resilience training to the voluntary sector, key workers and small local businesses
  5. St Augustine’s Community Care Trust (Homelink): Establishing a new remote/virtual support service for carers.
  6. Vineyard Community Centre: Help towards the Foodbank costs.

Projects are chosen that will have an immediate, positive impact.  Priority is given to those organisations already working with the people of Richmond who face a sudden increase in demand for their services, or who need to adapt to new ways of working.
More bids continue to be submitted and the Council is reviewing them regularly in order to get funding out to organisations as quickly as possible. Further grants will be announced over the next few weeks.

Friends of Ham Lands Litter Pick
A big thank you to the Friends of Ham Lands and their volunteers for their socially distanced litter pick last weekend.
A group of around 30 local residents and councillors got together for the group’s first community event since lockdown. Together they collected and sorted bags of waste that visitors to Ham Lands and the towpath had left behind.
The next litter clean-up is being organised by the Ham and Petersham Association and will take place on Ham Common on Saturday 4th July at 10 am. Anyone wanting to join in should meet near the pond.
And on Saturday 11th July, the Friends of Ham Lands will be meeting to pull up invasive Himalayan Balsam from alongside the towpath between Ham Street car park and Teddington Lock. Participants will meet at Ham Street car park at 10 am.


Sarah Olney MP

Earlier updates can be accessed here.