Celebrating Brentwood's Children and Older People

My regular column for the Vision magazine this month feature two great local groups who support young people with special needs and their parents, and older people needing a bit of company and fun in their lives respectively.

Brentwood-based charity SNAP, which provides outstanding advice and support for children with special needs and their parents, has been highly commended in the annual Kids Count Inspiration Awards held at the Houses of Parliament.

Kids Count is a grass-roots organisation aiming to find practical solutions to the broad spectrum of issues that affect children and young people in urban and rural communities. The aim of the awards is to recognise those individuals and organisations that have quite literally inspired young people in their communities.

SNAP offers invaluable support to families in my constituency and across Essex who have children with special needs.  So often I meet local families whose lives have been changed for the better because of SNAP.  I am immeasurably proud to have nominated them for an award in recognition of its unstinting support and care to those who need it most.

I’ve also had the chance in the last month to meet the various charities and support agencies who make up Brentwood Borough Council’s Aging Well team, under the guidance of Jo Cory, the Council’s Sports, Events and Community Development Officer. Jo’s behind the Chatty Benches which are popping up in Brentwood where people who need to chat to brighten up their day can find people to talk to. Too many older people live very lonely lives, and I am following the Aging Well group’s work with interest as it develops ways of bringing people together for support and friendship.