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Henry Smith: Celebrating the nature around Crawley during lockdown

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Today is Earth Day, when people around the world celebrate our natural environment and demonstrate their support for protecting it.

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, I have been using my Government-recommended daily exercise to enjoy our local green spaces.

Some of us may have found new parks or fields near our homes that we have never been to before, or simply gained a new appreciation for the surroundings around us.

These green spaces are so important, as they provide us with many mental and physical health benefits. Alongside the fresh air and exercise, spending time in nature has been shown to improve your mood and reduce stress.

A lot has happened since Earth Day in 2016, when the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change was signed. In the last month alone, many of us have found that our appreciation for local green spaces has grown significantly, and according to one recent opinion poll, over a quarter of us have noticed more wildlife.

This Earth Day I am celebrating nature in Crawley and our local green spaces. We should continue to protect and enhance these places which we have come to value even more in these difficult times.

Henry Smith MP

Crawley Constituency

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Get vaccinated against the flu

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As our national response to COVID-19 continues, 30 million people will be asked to get vaccinated against the flu this year.

In England, the largest ever flu vaccination campaign is being launched, with all those eligible for the jab playing their part in saving lives.

Those able to receive the vaccine will be all primary school children as well as Year 7s for the first time; two- and three-year-olds; the most vulnerable people including adults aged 65 and over, those with long-term health conditions and pregnant women; and household contacts of people on the NHS Shielded Patient List and all health and social care workers who have direct contact with the people they care for.

After uptake has been maximised for the most at-risk groups, invites will extend to 50- to 64-year-olds later in the season, eligible for the first time in recognition of the scale of the healthcare challenges posed by the pandemic.

With research from Public Health England suggesting that those testing positive for both flu and COVID-19 were more than twice as likely to die compared to people with COVID-19 alone, the importance of getting your flu jab cannot be underestimated.

Those with co-infection of both viruses are also more at risk of severe illness. I urge everyone in the eligible groups to get the flu jab this winter.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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