It was great to be back at The Deanery in Wichelstowe for a Chess in Schools event last Friday. Chess is a brilliant universal game, which promotes key intellectual skills such as problem solving, logical thinking, pattern recognition, and concentration. It boosts self-esteem and helps young people to grow into well-rounded individuals, developing a skill for life.
Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) is a fantastic initiative, which delivers chess via curriculum time lessons, or through the traditional extra curricula chess club. Schools that sign up with CSC receive chess sets, and teaching and learning resources. Staff are also offered free places on tutor training courses, enabling them to lead the lessons.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Deanery Chess in Schools event, we have some budding Grandmasters here in Swindon!
In my new Cabinet role, I attended the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on Saturday, where I met stakeholders from the aerospace industry and enjoyed the showground. I was but one of hundreds of Swindon residents who were there too over the weekend. We are extremely fortunate to have the world’s largest military show so close to home, and the highlight of my day was meeting with many friends and local residents who were enjoying the show.
As part of my ongoing Business Support Campaign, I recently nominated local business, Nanogreen for a Constituency Responsible Business Champion’s Award, and last Wednesday, I was delighted to attend a reception here in Parliament alongside this excellent local business after they were shortlisted for the award.
Craig, the founder of Nanogreen, has worked tirelessly to create a socially and environmentally impacting business, with the aim of providing the community of Swindon with a fairer, cleaner, society. From a small carpet cleaning business, Nanogreen has grown to become a large eco-friendly company here in Swindon, and an excellent local employer. I would like to congratulate the team at Nanogreen on being shortlisted for this award.
Over the past few days, Swindon, and the surrounding areas, have experienced very high temperatures and humid weather. Whilst most people find the summer sun enjoyable, we must be mindful of the potential impacts the extreme heat can have on a person. Heat-related conditions can add additional pressures on our busy health care service, and it is important that we all take care when out in the sun, by wearing sun cream, sitting in the shade, and staying hydrated. Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has compiled a webpage full of useful advice, which can be found by visiting https://www.gwh.nhs.uk/news/posts/2022/july/staying-safe-in-hot-weather/
Finally, we are extremely fortunate here in Swindon to have many excellent local charities, and each week, I will be promoting a ‘Local Charity of the Week’ in my column, on my website, and on social media pages.
My first Local Charity of The Week is Inner Flame, a brilliant Swindon-based charity who offer free courses to develop confidence, self-worth, life skills, and employability for those aged between 16 to 25 who are at a disadvantage.
The charity, which was founded in 2008, has helped many young people in and around Swindon over the past fourteen years.
Inner Flame and the Prince’s Trust are running a new 12-week employability program for young people in Swindon who are aged 16 to 25. They have a taster day on Wednesday 14th Sept and the course begins on Monday 19th Sept and ends on Friday 9th December.
The Teams Programme can be life-changing. It allows young people to explore their futures and change their mindsets, setting them up to succeed in life. Participants take on a series of projects and challenges, which enable them to improve their employability skills through experimental learning. The 12-week full-time programme will lead to a Level 1 Certificate in Employability, Teamwork and Community Skills.
If you would like to sign up for a course, find out more about their work, or support Inner Flame through a fundraising event or donation, please email email@example.com