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. 


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 Fuller MP helps out at the British Heart Foundation shop in Bedford

Richard Fuller MP helps out at the British Heart Foundation shop in Bedford

In May, Bedford MP Richard Fuller visited the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Furniture & Electrical store. He met the store staff and volunteers and spent a few hours in the Bedford store to learn more about the BHF and the work it does in the local community.

The MP said: “It was great to pop in and meet the dedicated members of staff and volunteers that work at the Bedford Furniture & Electrical store. The BHF is such a fantastic cause and the work they do is vital in the fight against heart disease.

“I’d urge locals to have a root around and donate any unwanted items to the store or give the gift of time by volunteering.”

Craig Fraser Area Manager for Bedford said: “We’re really grateful to Richard for coming in, visiting our store and meeting the team. We’re always looking for support and stock donations, which are absolutely essential to the success of the charity, and play a vital part in fighting coronary heart disease – the UK’s single biggest killer.”

Diabetes UK - Big Collection

Diabetes UK – Big Collection

Richard also helped Diabetes UK Chief Executive Barbara Young at their Big Collection on Friday June 13 at Tesco Bedford, Riverfield Drive.

The Big Collection is a nationwide fundraising event for Diabetes UK, which took place in 300 Tesco stores across the UK on 13, 14 and 15 June.

Barbara Young, Diabetes UK Chief Executive said: “We are delighted that Richard Fuller gave up his time to support the Big Collection with me in Bedford.
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Caroline Spelman & Richard Fuller with Dawn Giles from Bedford Creative Arts and Nick Gibson from Sight Concern

When Caroline Spelman, the Shadow Secretary of State for Communities visited Bedford, I wanted her to meet with the people leading Consortico.

I am a big fan of Consortico – a new initiative by local charities that serve our community in Bedford, Kempston and the villages.  Consortico helps the charities to work together to bid for public sector contracts more efficiently and effectively than they could if they operated individually.

The effectiveness of charities in helping people in need is well known, but because they are so careful with their money, charities often have limited resources available to prepare all the paperwork and administration necessary to bid for local and national government contracts.  As a result, they often miss out on opportunities to extend their good work and we, the people, miss out on their skills, care and compassion.

I believe Consortico is on to a big idea – and they deserve our encouragement and support for a new idea that in the future we could be proud to say “Started and Based in Bedford”.

Richard at the run for Sports Relief in Bedford Park

I took part in the Sports Relief Mile at Bedford Park on Sunday, running 3 miles in a disappointing time, but enjoyed the event immensely.

It’s great that people are willing to give up their time for such a great cause. The turnout was fantastic and the event organisers did a really good job of cheering us on as we went along – it really helped motivate me to do another lap!

As for my time – well let’s just say, I don’t remember the Park being so big when I was a kid running around.

The King’s Arms Project held their biennial “Sleep Out” on Friday to raise awareness of the problems for people who have to sleep rough on our streets here in Bedford and Kempston.  On this topic, as on others, The King’s Arms church is dedicated, knowledgeable, caring and inspiring.  Their leadership is providing help and insight to some of the most disadvantaged in our community. 

In her talk, Ali Inwood, CEO of the King’s Arms Project, mentioned how important it was to recognise that every instance of a person sleeping rough is an individual story, with an individual history of events and circumstances that has led that person to the need to sleep rough.

 The volunteers of King’s Arms make a real, positive impact on people’s lives.  I hope the next Government can encourage them to do even more to help.