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National Adoption Week is here and Crawley families can help

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This National Adoption Week (12–18 October, 2020), Adoption South East is highlighting the need to find families for some of the most vulnerable children within our region, the children who wait the longest for a loving home. These include those in sibling groups, older children, children with complex health needs and also children from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

In the UK, there are almost 3,000 children who are in need of an adoptive family – yet the number of adoptions in England has fallen by a third in four years.

Last month a new national adoption recruitment campaign #YouCanAdopt was launched to raise awareness about adoption and bust myths around who is eligible to adopt and to encourage more people to register their interest. Applications are welcome from people aged 21 and above, regardless of marital status, race, disability, sexuality or gender.

Michael Wilson, Head of Adoption South East, said:

“We want to use the national #YouCanAdopt campaign and National Adoption Week as an opportunity to bust some of the myths surrounding adoption. We need adoptive parents from all backgrounds who are compassionate, resilient and willing to give a child a safe and loving home to help them flourish.

“If you are considering adopting, I would encourage you to get in touch. You can chat with one of our friendly team, ask a question online or request an invitation to one of our regular online information events. Meanwhile, there is lots of helpful information on our website about how the adoption process works.”

Ruth, an adoptive parent from the South East region, explains why she and her partner Mike decided to adopt. She said:

“Mike and I had talked about adopting when we first got together, however we went on to have two children and it wasn’t until they were a bit older that we started to think again about adoption. I’m white and Mike is black so we wanted to adopt a child who reflected our, and our children’s, mixed heritage.

“We adopted our daughter earlier this year and our three children have had an amazing time getting to know each other over the lockdown period. We’ve had the support from Adoption South East whenever we’ve needed it and we feel really lucky to have had such a positive experience with our daughter settling into our family.”

Adoption South East brings together the adoption services from West Sussex County Council, East Sussex County Council, Brighton and Hove Council and Surrey County Council, making is easier to find permanent homes for children who need them across the whole region.

Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at West Sussex County Council, said:

“Dispelling the many misconceptions around who can adopt is really important in breaking down the barriers which often prevent people from applying. I would encourage anyone considering adoption to contact our adoption service, who can discuss how adoption can work for you and your family.”

To find out more about adopting a child in West Sussex visit https://www.adoptionsoutheast.org.uk/

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Brexit and a vaccine

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In his article this week, Crawley MP Henry Smith talks about Brexit and the new Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

As the UK entered the New Year it did so having finally delivered what Crawley and the country voted for in the Brexit referendum almost half a decade previously.

Last week I voted for the European Union (Future Relationship) Act which allows the British Government to implement and ratify the agreements secured between the UK and the EU.

With no role for the European Court of Justice and no requirements for the UK to continue to follow EU law, and no more payments of billions of pounds to Brussels, we fulfil one of the key aims of Brexit, which is to secure this country’s political and economic independence. This means, of course, that our laws are determined by elected politicians in the United Kingdom who are accountable to the British people.

Britain’s commitment to maintaining high labour, environment and climate standards now ensure we do not give the EU any say over our rules.

In areas such as the living wage, entitlements to sick pay, parental leave and annual leave, UK policy already goes further than EU requirements.

The Future Relationship Act represents the largest free trade agreement in history, not only allowing the UK full access to the EU but also the ability to strike trade deals globally, following recent agreements already signed with countries including Japan, Canada and Turkey.

Looking ahead to 2021; it is welcome that the start of the year has seen the roll-out of the UK-developed University of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination.

On Monday the NHS began administering over half a million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, with 100 million doses secured in total. This is part of a national vaccination programme alongside the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, which has already seen more people inoculated in the UK than the rest of Europe put together. Indeed Great Britain was first globally by several weeks in delivering COVID-19 vaccines to its citizens.

The Government’s plan to roll out vaccinations as swiftly as possible is well underway, with 1,000 vaccination sites up and running by the end of the week.

With this further welcome news on the vaccine we can see an end to the blight of Covid in sight. These are still challenging times but global Britain will deliver in 2021.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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