It is wonderful news that the Swindon MS & Neuro Therapy Centre has become the first charity to benefit from the local laptop scheme I have set up with my constituency team.
The scheme began back in January to help disadvantaged students get access to the technology they needed to effectively do their schoolwork from home.
I am extremely proud of this successful scheme, which has been extended to benefit local charities as well as school pupils here in the town. A big thank you to all of the local residents and businesses who have generously donated devices and to the brilliant teams at Excalibur and SP Computers who have stepped up and repaired hundreds of devices.
As Justice Secretary and somebody who has spent their entire career working in the justice system, I refuse to accept that any injustice should go unchecked at any time. Every professional instinct I have told me that I had to do everything possible to keep justice going in our country.
This is why the Lord Chief Justice and I took the early decision to do everything in our power to keep justice moving throughout the pandemic.
We made available a quarter of a billion pounds not only to keep the wheels of justice turning, but to propel them forward at a pace that would help tackle the number of outstanding cases, particularly in criminal courts.
The action we took means cases are being dealt with now at around pre-pandemic levels, almost across the board in the courts and tribunals estate. This is a truly remarkable achievement which was almost unthinkable fifteen months or so ago when social distancing became necessary.
None of this would have been possible without the hidden heroes working right across our estate and I had the opportunity on Thursday to visit the Cirencester Nightingale Court to thank the staff there for their hard work in helping to alleviate the pressure on our courts and tribunals caused by Covid-19.
In further good news, from yesterday all adults aged 25 and over were able to book their Covid-19 vaccination.
The latest estimates indicate that the vaccination programme has averted over 39,000 hospitalisation and over 13,000 deaths. If you are eligible to book your jab, please do so. It is a fantastic opportunity to protect yourself, protect your loved ones and protect your community.
To book your jab, you can either wait for your local GP surgery to get in touch, or book via: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/.
It was great at last to be able to be safely out and about with the regular Westlea Litter Pick on Saturday. I have enjoyed my previous sessions with this dedicated team of local residents and in particular to join Parish Cllr Suresh Gattapur who works hard with local residents to make West Swindon an even greener and more pleasant place.
On Sunday we marked 77 years since Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy as part of the D-Day operations, which signalled the beginning of the liberation of Northern Europe from Nazi tyranny.
It will always be important that we remember all the gallant armed forces who served and made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom.