Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Stephen Metcalfe MP joins Basildon Hospital Radio for live launch of new requests show

Stephen Metcalfe, the local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock has appeared live on local Basildon Hospital Radio (BHR1287am) as a special guest. The show served as a commemoration of a new joint broadcast by the hospital radio and local radio station, Gateway 97.8.

The new broadcast will be held on the last Sunday of every month and will feature song requests from those inside the hospital to their friends and loved ones outside and in the community. The programme will also allow local residents to send messages and requests for their loved ones inside the hospital.

Stephen Metcalfe, featuring live on the first programme of the series, read out some of the requests and also chatted to the host and chairman of Basildon Hospital Radio, Jacqui James.

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “I had a great time reading out some of the wonderful requests and dedications sent into Basildon Hospital Radio. This new joint project with Gateway 97.8 is a great idea and will further build on the important role that the radio plays within the hospital community.”

“I am so pleased to have played a role as special guest in the launching of this new programme and I am very excited for the Hospital Radio, as it continues to expand and grow its audience.”

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Stephen Metcalfe MP hears of Pegasus Club’s future plans

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock has recently visited the Pegasus Club again and heard from the new owners about their plans to breathe new life in to the facility.

As many will know, The Pegasus Club was sold when Coryton Oil Refinery went bust in 2012. Initially a small group of local activist, with the support of Stephen Metcalfe, tried to find a way of securing the club as a community asset, but unfortunately it was not to be and ultimately the club was sold and then closed for a number of months.

Described by Stephen Metcalfe MP, as “East Thurrock’s hidden jewel”, the Pegasus Club has now re-opened and is trying hard to re-establish itself as a community sports and social hub open to everyone in the area.

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “I was pleased to hear the news that the Pegasus Club has attracted the investment required to preserve it for the use of the local community and now want to ensure it has a long term future in its current format.”

“The Pegasus Club really is the hidden jewel of East Thurrock, and it offers beautiful views and landscapes to those who take the time to come and visit it”.

“Now, for the club to have a future they need to win back members and encourage the community and local residents to come and make use of the Club.”

To achieve this, The Pegasus Club are holding a variety of upcoming events, including open days, live music evenings and activities for Children. There are also ambitious plans for links with businesses and international partners abroad in order to truly put the Pegasus Club back on the map.

Those who are interested in getting involved or finding out more about the Pegasus Club can do so by visiting the official website at:

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Stephen Metcalfe MP congratulates local award winning teacher in the House of Commons

Stephen Metcalfe, the local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock has attended an event in Parliament to congratulate local teacher Mrs Sharon Wilson, from South Quadrant Children’s Support Services, for winning a Silver Pearson Teaching Award.

The Pearson Teaching Awards are an annual celebration and recognition of excellence in education. The Pearson Teaching Awards website states that: ‘The Teaching Awards offers everyone the opportunity to say “thank you”, to the teacher who has helped them most.  Anyone can take part, children, students, parents, grandparents and colleagues can all go online and thank you.  In return, we will send a thank you card to each and every person or team of people who is thanked. Every “thank you”, then becomes a nomination for a Teaching Award.’

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “It was a great privilege to see such a hardworking and dedicated education professional in the local area be recognised for her achievements. Sharon Wilson has been rightly awarded the Award for Lifetime Achievement for the truly life changing work she has done in my constituency”.

“The Pearson Teaching Awards are a hugely important occasion where we recognise how crucial teaching professionals are in helping to provide opportunity and support to our young people.”

Those interested in finding out more about the Pearson Teaching Awards can visit the website at

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

New National Lottery investment in First World War Centenary 

One year from the Battle of the Somme Centenary, Stephen Metcalfe urges South Basildon and East Thurrock communities to apply for new £4m Heritage Lottery Fund money to explore the impact of the war

On Wednesday 8th July, Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock attended a House of Commons event hosted by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), to find out how people from their constituency can secure new National Lottery money to help them mark the Centenary of the First World War.

Following the phenomenal success of its community grants programme First World War: then and now, HLF has made an additional £4million available in 2015/16 for communities looking to explore, conserve and share local heritage of the First World War.  Grants are available between £3,000 to £10,000.

Thanks to National Lottery funding, thousands of young people and communities throughout the UK have already been involved in activities marking the Centenary such as: researching and recording local heritage; conserving and finding out more about war memorials; and using digital technology to share the fascinating stories they uncover.  This new money will help even more people get involved to explore a greater range of stories including those surrounding the Battle of the Somme.

Stephen Metcalfe said: “The projects and stories I’ve seen here today have been an inspiration.  It’s so important that we remember the impact of this war one hundred years on.    There is still time to apply for National Lottery money and I would urge anyone in South Basildon and East Thurrock with an idea for their own project to get in touch with HLF.”    

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the HLF, said: “The demand for National Lottery funding for First World War projects has been phenomenal, so much so we’ve decided to make extra money available. This will mean everyone, in particular more young people, can explore the momentous events of a war that shaped our nation, Europe and the world. Next year marks the centenary of the Battle of Somme and if groups want support for projects in 2016, they need to start thinking about applying now.”
The event showcased just a handful of over 1,000 First World War projects taking place across the UK, thanks to more than £70million of investment from HLF.  

Projects on display showed the breadth and scale of First World War stories being explored and shared across the country:

•   Local people from Tottenham and Walthamstow in London showed how they have been exploring their family history to see if any of their relatives fought in the war;

•   Young people from North Tyneside demonstrated how they have been using social media to retell the stories of local soldiers; and

•   Young women in Birmingham shared what they have been uncovering about the experiences of women who worked in factories during the conflict in particularly the Birmingham Small Arms factory in Small Heath.

More information on how to apply for HLF funding is available at
Stephen Metcalfe MP: pledges to champion autism in South Basildon & East Thurrock

Stephen Metcalfe, the local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock at a reception at the Houses of Parliament, has pledged to promote more autism awareness in the constituency.

Stephen Metcalfe MP with 
President of the National Autistic Society, Jane Asher.
Stephen Metcalfe, a member of the All-party Parliamentary Group on Autism (APPGA), met local families and heard moving testimonies from people living with autism, a lifelong condition which affects over 3,000 people in every Parliamentary constituency. 

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “I was very moved by what I heard today when listening to people living with autism. More than 1 in 100 people in the UK have the condition and many have battled to get their needs identified, diagnosed, understood and then met. “

“We heard how negative public attitudes and misconceptions about autism can harm families and individuals and limit their opportunities.”

“I plan to actively promote more awareness in Basildon and Thurrock to improve access to public spaces, employment and services. This will enable more people living with autism to play an active role in their community and to achieve their full potential.”   

The event was attended by nearly one hundred Parliamentarians and President of the National Autistic Society, Jane Asher, who said: “Awareness of the word autism has increased dramatically since I first became involved many years ago, but understanding of this complex condition is still desperately low, that’s why I'm very grateful that so many Parliamentarians came to the event. 

“Parliamentarians have the power to make a real change in the lives of those with autism by helping us to spread understanding among their local communities. I do hope they will work with us in trying to make the world a more welcoming place for those affected and their families."  

Chair of the APPGA, Rt. Hon. Cheryl Gillan MP, said: “I am delighted to have been elected Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism, a cross-party grouping of 200 MPs and Members of the House of Lords. There are over 3,000 people in each constituency affected by autism and it’s crucial they all get the right support.”

Monday, 6 July 2015

Stephen Metcalfe MP: joins local school pupils’ campaign

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock has joined pupils at Hassenbrook Academy to hear about their campaign on the global right to education.

The pupils at Hassenbrook Academy joined the national ‘Send My Friend to School 2015’ campaign which is run by the UK coalition of the Global Campaign for Education. 

The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) is a global organisation working to ensure quality education for all children. It has members in more than 100 countries around the world. You can find out more about GCE around the world at In the UK over twenty charities and teaching unions work together to support education for all as the GCE UK coalition.

As part of their campaign, the year 7 pupils of Hassenbrook Academy, are petitioning the Prime Minister on issue of global access to education; something which their local MP Stephen Metcalfe was keen to lend a hand with.

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “It is very encouraging to see so many children care about important global issues, and have an active role in taking positive action.”

“That is why I was so keen to show my support for the pupils and school, who have become involved in such an important cause. Campaign for Education do incredible work raising awareness about the importance of education globally and I am so pleased that so many local pupils have become involved”.