Written by Jackie Andrews
A chance encounter with a very elderly lady in a supermarket on Christmas Eve brought home to me in a very personal way the importance of support services like meals on wheels, especially at this time of year. She looked a little sad so I wished her a Happy Christmas as I walked by. Grabbing my arm for support she wished the same to me too. She would be alone at Christmas she said, and would see nobody on Christmas Day except someone who would bring her a hot meal, never the same person, but it was something to look forward to on a lonely day. It’s a familiar story and, having lost my mum on Christmas Day a couple of years ago you can imagine I did the rest of my shopping with a quivering lip and red eyes. Christmas is a particularly difficult time for the many of us who are missing loved ones.
One other area of concern to me, which was highlighted in the media this week, is the lack of support given by local authorities to children and young people whose childhood and career is often sacrificed because of their devotion to the loved ones they care for. I’m sure we must have many such carers in Elmbridge. Is our council doing enough to help them?
There are obvious examples of need in our neighbourhoods. Labour’s ongoing campaign to shine a light on threats to local social and health care is bringing them to a wider audience, especially important locally in the run up to the Surrey County Council election in May. There are many deserving people in Walton and Hersham who need our help to change their lives for the better, or even just to keep things as decent as they are now.