Working for the future of Bedford & Kempston

Please note: This site covers the period that I was a Member of Parliament from May 2010 to June 2017. 

Community Action

On Saturday, Richard was in Kempston for the launch party of the Companions Real Bread Community Interest Company – a not-for-profit bakery which helps ex-offenders to reduce their re-offending by involving them in the work of a real bread bakery.

Richard said: “This is a great new initiative led by Maggie and Nigel to create great bread and help ex-offenders back into work: a cause close to my heart.”

You can find Companions Real Bread at Bedford Gourmet Market every Thursday, or this Saturday at St Andrew’s Church Bedford or Sunday at St Paul’s Church Bedford. For more information on how you can get involved or purchase their bread, visit the Companions Real Bread CIC facebook page.

On Saturday night, Richard attended the 2016 Bedfordshire Asian Business Association (BABA) Awards night in Kempston.

The keynote address was given by Post Office CEO, Paula Vennells and the awards acknowledged strong leadership in business, public service and local charity organisations.

Richard, who had the opportunity to speak at the Awards said:
“There have been many examples tonight of business success from local leaders of Asian origin worthy of celebration. Now that we are looking at a new future for our country, we need to excite people about the opportunities for business all across the world and that is what BABA does so well.”

Richard also thanked the organisers, in particular BABA Chairman, Jas Parmar, for a great night. You can find out more about BABA here.


Richard presenting the Continence Care Champion award to Jacq Emkes at the House of Commons

Richard presenting the Continence Care Patient Champion award to Jacq Emkes at the House of Commons

Richard Fuller, MP for Bedford, joined Jacq Emkes, a teacher from Bedford, at the House of Commons last week to celebrate her success at the National Continence Care Awards where she was presented with the Continence Patient Champion award.

The NHS estimates that over 14 million adults in the UK suffer with bladder control problems and 6.5 million with bowel control problems, many of whom will suffer in silence. Jacq received the award in recognition of her efforts to campaign for better continence care for patients.

Incontinence is still a taboo subject, with almost half (45 per cent) of people with the condition waiting at least five years before they get help, and can have a devastating impact on an individual’s quality of life, leading to avoidable complications, such as infections, pressures sores and falls and is second only to dementia as a reason for admission to residential care.

Speaking at the awards, Richard said: “I am delighted to present Jacq with the award and to thank her for all her work in raising awareness about the impact of the condition in order to improve the lives of those living with incontinence in Bedford and beyond.”

Richard at the Bedfordshire YMCA SleepEasy at Viking Storage Depot, Bedford

Richard at the Bedfordshire YMCA SleepEasy at Viking Storage Depot, Bedford

Last night, Richard joined YMCA Bedfordshire’s SleepEasy fundraising event at Viking Storage depot in Bedford to draw attention to youth homelessness.

Richard said: “I was happy to support YMCA Bedfordshire again and although it was a cold night, people were in good spirits. Street homelessness is a growing problem and although it is a comparatively small number of people affected, every single person matters. It is not a question of what resources we throw at the problem but how we use the resources we have, which is why the role of organisations like the YMCA is so important.”

Richard Fuller with Karen Perry, CEO, Age UK Bedfordshire

Richard Fuller with Karen Perry, CEO, Age UK Bedfordshire

MP for Bedford and Kempston, Richard Fuller, visited the local office of Age UK earlier this month. Age UK provides help and independent advice on a range of issues affecting local residents over the age of 50.

Richard said, “I was delighted to meet the staff and volunteers at Age UK Bedfordshire to see first hand the important work they do in the community. From services like Home Help, gardening and DIY to giving advice on a range of issues such as benefit entitlements and housing, it is clear that Age UK has a crucial role to play in supporting the over 50s in Bedford and Kempston.”

If you are over 50 and need any help or advice, or you are interested in volunteering, please contact Age UK Bedfordshire on 01234 360510 or by visiting their offices at 78-82 Bromham Road Bedford or their website.

Richard with Ben Handysides at NCS event at House of Commons

Ben Handysides is named as one of the country’s top young citizens and meets Richard Fuller MP in Parliament

After taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS), Ben Handysides from Kempston was selected as one of just 100 young people across the country, from more than 40,000, to become a national ambassador for NCS.

Established in 2011 to create a more responsible, cohesive and engaged society, NCS is a three week programme that brings 16 & 17 year olds from a range of backgrounds together to face outdoor challenges, learn skills for life and work, extend their social networks and make their mark on their community – spending 30 hours delivering a volunteer project of their choice.

Ben Handysides, a pupil at Hastingsbury Business and Enterprise College, spent his half term taking part in an intensive, week-long leadership programme at a London College– designed to provide top teens with the opportunity to fully realise their potential and develop a national network whilst giving them the skills, insight and ability to help encourage other teens to deliver positive change in the community through the power of social action.

As part of the prestigious leadership programme, Ben took part in a number of workshops focusing on personal and social development, including presenting, debating and problem solving skills delivered by partners including Sky Skills Academy, Barclays Life Skills, Mozilla Digital Champions and EY (formerly Ernst and Young).

As part of the week, Ben also had the opportunity to meet his MP, Richard Fuller, at the House of Commons.

Richard said, “I was delighted to meet Ben at the reception in Parliament and recognise what a tremendous achievement it is for him to become an NCS Leader.”

NCS ambassadors are selected not only for their ability and enthusiasm, but for demonstrating development during the programme and overcoming personal challenges or supporting others to do the same.