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Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Supporting Crawley workers through COVID-19

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It is less than two months since the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme went live. This programme sees Government grants cover 80 per cent of people’s wages, up to £2,500 a month.

In this time, the scheme has protected some 20,000 jobs in Crawley, with the programme continuing as it has been throughout June and July, before employers are asked to make a modest contribution from August.

Of course, some sectors will not be up and running fully by then, and targeted and more flexible support will be required. As founder and Chair of the new Future of Aviation Group, I have been leading cross-party calls in Parliament for the furlough scheme to be extended for the aviation, tourism and travel sectors – of such importance to the Crawley and Gatwick economy – past the end of the programme in October.

It is welcome that we are seeing our economy start to reopen for business. From Monday 15th June, shops will be allowed to welcome customers back, providing they meet robust safety guidelines to keep everyone safe.

This move will help to not only support our high streets and restart our economy, but will do so at the same time as making sure we keep the risk of infection down to avoid the possibility of a second wave of the virus.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Poppy Appeal 2020

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In his article this week, Crawley MP Henry Smith looks to raise awareness of the importance of continuing support for the Royal British Legion:

Throughout the course of this year we have seen so many aspects of day-to-day life affected by COVID-19, with few being more poignant than the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

With the pandemic impacting some of the more traditional and familiar ways we remember, I am keen to raise awareness of how we can continue to support the Royal British Legion in a safe and socially distant manner.

  • Poppies in the Post: The Royal British Legion’s website allows you to request 20 poppies free of charge, which can be distributed to friends and neighbours. Many of the volunteers who usually distribute more than 40 million poppies annually are unable to do so this year, so we are being asked to step in to support the Armed Forces community and ensure their contribution to our country is not forgotten. Please remember to make a donation to the Royal British Legion after requesting your poppies.
  • Printable Poppy: Unfortunately, large scale gatherings at the Cenotaph in London, at memorials across Crawley and around the country to pay our respects will be restricted to a smaller number of representatives. The Royal British Legion have therefore launched the Printable Poppy – an A4 poster which can be displayed at home, perhaps in the front window – for us to show our support.
  • My Poppy Run: A further consequence of COVID-19 are the changes to the My Poppy Run events which are usually held in October and November. Due to social distancing, these are taking place virtually, with participants being able to run, jog or walk while raising money.
  • Visit the local supermarket: The Royal British Legion have confirmed that supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi and Asda, in addition to online retailers such as Amazon and eBay, as well as Lloyds Bank and Santander are supporting the 2020 Poppy Appeal. Each location has a number of cashless donation options, and Morrisons and Sainsbury’s offer customers an option to add a donation to their shopping bill.
  • Poppy Shop: With products ranging from poppy pins and jewellery, to clothing, stationery and homeware, 100 per cent of profits from the Poppy Shop go towards the Royal British Legion’s work to support the Armed Forces community.
  • Donate online or by text: The Legion’s website allows supporters to make a donation online, or by sending a text message to donate £2, £5 or £10.

While the ways our country reflects and remembers will undoubtedly feel different, the message remains the same. The sense of duty of all in the Armed Forces community will never be forgotten.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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