October has been a busy month in Tynedale and Ponteland, with plenty to celebrate for individuals, businesses and the community.
My Tynedale Jobs Fair took place in Hexham at the end of last month. Hundreds of people attended and nearly 50 businesses and employers were present, looking to hire from a range of sectors, including retail, construction, the Royal Navy and more.
I spoke with many people who had filled out application forms and found a new job, with one expected to start within days.
It was also great to welcome secondary school children to find out what opportunities are available in the long-term right on their doorstep.
It was a very successful day and I look forward to repeating that success next year.
There was more good news with the announcement that the Overnight Urgent Care Service at Hexham Hospital is to be reopened and 24-hour care reinstated.
I have led a long campaign to get the centre reopened since it was closed last December and I am delighted that promises to keep 24-hour care at the hospital have been kept.
My relationships with schools in the constituency are extremely important to me, and I recently enjoyed a visit to Adderlane Academy in Prudhoe, where I met Headteacher Emma Potts.
The school was previously in Special Measures, but the Head is really turning it around with improved numbers and results.
I also visited schools in Bellingham and Ponteland, and talked to teachers, governors and pupils.
Last month some of the world’s best golfers came to Northumberland for the British Masters, held at Close House, Heddon-on-the-wall.
The tournament was a fantastic success, both for Northumberland and sport in the North East, with more than 60,000 golf fans attending, providing a real boost to the local economy.
Congratulations to Close House on a brilliant event.
I was delighted to attend a coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Organised by Caroline Miskin and Team Louise, it was inspired by their friend Louise Lee, who has terminal cancer.
It was a pleasure to meet everyone at such a wonderful event — great cakes and company, and all for a wonderful cause.
Congratulations must go to Vicky Furlong, who has won the BBC
Countryfile Young Farmer of the Year Award.
Vicky was nominated by her employer Mary Dickinson and was presented with her award at the BBC Food and Farming Awards in Bristol.
My Hexham Constituency Community Champion Awards continue to be a success. I met recent winner David Kirsopp and his wife Avril.
David was nominated for decades of service to Haydon Bridge United AFC and I enjoyed looking around the facilities at the club and speaking with people who are so devoted to it.
I also met another winner, Alicia Armstrong, a leukaemia survivor, who has set world records at swimming in the World Transplant Games. Alicia received a life-saving bone marrow transplant and I discussed with her the need to sign up more organ donors.
The Prime Minister’s announcement of plans to create an opt-out system for organ donation is fantastic news and will undoubtedly save lives.
Finally, I launched my annual Christmas Toy Appeal to collect toys for the Salvation Army to distribute to children in the area who otherwise would not receive any gifts.
Every year the people of Tynedale and Ponteland respond with such generosity, donating hundreds of toys and gifts, and I hope that once again the kindness of our community will be apparent.
For more information about how you can donate, please visit my blog or Facebook page.