Traidcraft debate

This morning I led a debate in Westminster Hall on Traidcraft and the future of Fairtrade.

I have been raising the difficulties Traidcraft has been having in Parliament over the past few months. I was therefore pleased to be able to debate these issues in Parliament – with a good number of colleagues contributing.

It’s so important that we keep Fairtrade organisations like Traidcraft running. They do such important work to help those who need it most around the world; and do so by creating good quality products at the same time.

You can watch the debate here:


Liz discusses the World Transplant Games in Parliament


The World Transplant Games is due to take place in Newcastle and Gateshead in 2019. The highly emotive games are a celebration of a second chance of living life to the full. The Games demonstrate the success of transplant surgery and promote the need to raise public awareness of discussing our wishes with our families and increase organ donation.

With this in mind, I asked the Culture Secretary what support he is giving the games, and urged him to give the best possible support he can. Whilst the Culture Secretary told me he was happy to support the Games, I will be following up with him to ensure that we get all the support we can from government.

You can find out more abut the Games here:

APPG on Acquired Brain Injury report launch

Liz twist talks (1) - Copy


I was delighted to be involved with the launch of a report on Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) and Neurorehabilitation yesterday. I have recently been working to raise awareness of the invisible epidemic that is ABI, and to raise further awareness of the Neurorehabilitation services available to those affected. I was therefore very pleased to see the release of this report.

ABI is a leading cause of death and disability in the UK. It is a chronic condition with hidden disabilities and life-long consequences.

The excellent advances in emergency and acute medicine mean that many more children, young people and adults now survive with an ABI. However, many of these individuals require early and continued access to Neurorehabilitation to optimise their recovery and maximise their long-term potential.

Neurorehabilitation improves functional independence and reduces the burden on carers, as well as improving the rates of return to work and productivity for those who are able.

Unfortunately, the number of available Neurorehabilitation beds across the UK is inadequate, service provision is variable and, consequently, long-term outcomes for ABI survivors are compromised.

It is therefore clear that the Government should bring together a taskforce to address all the issues discussed in the report, and create real change for brain injury survivors.


The report can be found here:

Macmillan Coffee Morning

We had a great turnout for the Macmillan Coffee morning in Whickham Library last Friday. I was pleased to see so many friends there for such an important cause.

We had array of homemade cakes for sale, made by myself and my staff, as well as a raffle at the end – with all proceeds going towards Macmillan Cancer Support.


Liz speaks on Samaritans’ #TheBigListen campaign


I spoke in the House today about NICE’s draft guidlines for preventing suicide, and also about the excellent work Samaritans volunteers are doing in their UK-wide awareness campaign – #TheBigListenT.

Three times more people die by suicide than in road accidents. NICE’s new guidelines help to highlight this devastating loss of life and increase understanding of what councils, education, businesses, prisons and others can do together to prevent it, because suicide is everybody’s business.


For NICE’s guidelines to have any impact, there is a need for increased government funding and resources – in particular in areas where individuals and communities are facing deprivation. As was highlighted in a recent report, suicide is an inequality issue and we need money and political will to address that, not guidelines alone

It is so important to get the message out that suicide is preventable, not inevitable.

EqualiTeas event at The Thought Foundation in Birtley


Yesterday I hosted #EqualiTeas at The Thought Foundation in Birtley.

It was really useful to listen to our young people share their views about democracy and equality today and tomorrow.

I was deeply impressed by the thoughtful responses of sixth form students from Whickham School and Lord Lawson.

They filled me with hope that our hard-fought rights, such as the right to vote, employment and disability rights and gender equalities will be defended and extended further by their generation.

And thanks to the Thought Foundation for the delicious coffee and cake and an inspirational space for our discussion.