Julian Knight's Westminster Diary, 02/07/20

Solihull Observer

Solihull is a town that really runs on charity. So many of the clubs and organisations which make our community what it is are only possible because people volunteer their time to make it happen.

As your MP, I’ve had an unparalleled opportunity to meet many of these people, and have made an effort to highlight their efforts and say thank you through initiatives like my Corona Heroes campaign.

But it’s always better to get involved, which is why I’m so grateful to Sewa Solihull for letting me join them on Saturday morning to take part in Sewa Day.

Inspired by an Indian tradition, which involves performing an act of kindness without expectation of reward, Sewa Day brings together thousands of people from across the world to give back to their communities.

For our local contribution, I joined Umesh Champaneri and Bhavna Dhorajia to deliver some care packages to local NHS and care home workers. Amongst other generous donations, I personally brought along energy bars, chocolate, and other treats to help keep their spirits up.

We started at Solihull Hospital. Unfortunately, due to safety reasons we were unable to meet the staff face-to-face, but our supplies were left in the staff room along with a note explaining they were a thank-you from local people for all their hard work.

After that, we moved on the Ardenlea Court, St Bernard’s, and St George’s care homes. Here we did have an opportunity to meet the workers, and present them with their treats, which were all in beautifully decorated boxes prepared by local children. I also had a chance to speak with Claire and Patrick Byrne, who own St Bernard’s, about the challenges facing care home operators during the pandemic.

It was extremely useful to have a chance to meet those who are on the front line against Covid-19, hear their concerns, and give a little something back for all their hard work. I first got involved with Sewa when I opened their fundraising bike ride in Tudor Grange Park a few years ago, and am so glad to see they’re still working hard to make our town a better, kinder place to live.