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It’s High St Saturday this weekend and Crawley’s MP wants you to join him supporting it

Henry Smith MP has encouraged people in Crawley to join him in showing their support for the high street by shopping locally for High Street Saturday on 16th March.

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High Street Saturday, a new campaign day, aims to celebrate the place of high streets at the heart of communities like Crawley and throughout the country. As part of the day, people are being encouraged to;

  • Pledge to shop locally on High Street Saturday
  • Share photos and messages online using #HighStreetSaturday
  • Encourage local councils to make good use of the Future High Street Fund, provided by the Government to make high streets and town centres fit for the future

Henry said;

“High streets like Crawley are instrumental in bringing people together – acting as a meeting place for friends and families and long supporting jobs for local people.

“As the retail market changes, I’m encouraging people across Crawley to join me on 16th March in pledging to shop locally to support the independent businesses we all know and love. 

“It’s right that action’s being taken to back our high streets through business rates support, help for high streets to modernise and working to transform empty shops into new homes.”

High streets have long been a place to bring communities together, a place for local people to access vital services and a place for businesses to thrive. With the Government recognising that it is becoming harder for businesses on high streets across the country to compete with out-of-town shopping centres and online retailers, action has been taken to;

  • Deliver over £10 billion of business rates support since 2016, including cutting small retailers’ bills by a third
  • Support community leaders with £675 million of funding to help modernise their high streets and town centres
  • Relax planning rules to support new homes on the high street, transforming them into community hubs where people work, live and shop

High Street Saturday is a chance for local people to come together to celebrate and support the high streets at the heart of their local communities.

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Olympian charges up Crawley power workers

Power workers in Crawley were given a lesson in how to recharge their energy, during a visit from a former kayaking world champion.

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UK Power Networks, which delivers electricity to 8.3 million homes and businesses across the East of England, London and the South East, hosted Anna Hemmings at its Three Bridges base.

Anna, an MBE, is best known as Britain’s most successful ever female kayaker, a two-time Olympian and six-times World Champion before retiring from her sport in 2009 to set up a high performance training consultancy, Beyond the Barriers.

UK Power Networks arranged the session with Anna, one of several scheduled across the country by the firm, as part of its Your Energy programme designed to help staff maximise their energy levels and remind them of the importance of good health and well being.

Anna co-designed the training which takes lessons from elite sport into a work environment. The Crawley session focused on energy capacity for staff and advised how exercise and movement can improve energy levels as well as help combat stress and potential fatigue.

Dawn McDonald, health and wellbeing manager at UK Power Networks, said:

“As part of our vision to be an employer of choice, we encourage staff to work together and look to improve their own health and well being as well as looking out for colleagues.

“It was fantastic to draw on Anna’s experience of top level sport. Massive pressure comes with competing at Olympics and World Championships, and it’s hugely beneficial for our staff to learn how keeping energy levels high can help not only manage the pressures and improve productivity at work, but also support how they spend their quality time at home.

“We want to ensure our employees can work safely and efficiently, providing a platform to improve resilience, reduce the risk of stress and increase peoples’ capacity to cope with life’s challenges.”

Olympian, Anna Hemmings, from Beyond the Barriers, said:

“Exercise gives us the feel-good factor but most of us are not exercising enough. Today’s session on energy capacity was about building bite-sized chunks of exercise and movement into people’s lives so they can get the benefit of exercise.

“Energy begets energy, so the more energy we use the more we will produce. Movement is our greatest stimulus for energy and it will also boost our cognitive function, improve our mental health and sleep.”

Lindelee Ross, a project delivery manager who participated , said:

“Anna’s session gave us a wide variety of exercises we can plan into our day without needing to spend an hour exercising in the gym.

“She explained how the biggest barrier to exercise is time, but some exercise is better than none at all and if we keep it simple we won’t feel so overwhelmed. It could be 10-minute slots which we can spread throughout the day.”

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