My first summer recess as your MP really has flown by and I cannot believe how much I have managed to pack in, despite the unusual circumstances. A highlight for me this summer was welcoming the Prime Minister to Broxtowe last month. It was an honour to use Broxtowe as a launchpad for the Government's Cycling Revolution but I am even more excited about the impact the visit had and the engagement it has led to with local fitness groups. I know that exercising over summer out in the sun is a lot more fun but, as the weather inevitably changes, I am looking forward to continue working with you all to ensure we stay fit and healthy heading into the winter months. We have some exciting projects lined up and I am looking forward to sharing more information with you in the coming weeks and months. As ever, please continue to get in touch with any ideas you have or share information about groups you would like me to support.
I would also like to extend my congratulations to Rocky Riders in Beeston who have celebrated their 28th Anniversary on Monday. I visited them with Amanda Milling, Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party, last week and it was fascinating to hear about the way their business has evolved over the years and how they are hoping to benefit from the Government's £50 cycle voucher scheme. I wish them all the best and an even more successful next 28 years!
This week, I also joined the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Loneliness to listen to witnesses on the impact of coronavirus on loneliness. This is an issue I have always worried about but I know it has worsened due to lockdown. It is known that people who live alone are more likely to be affected, but it was surprising to hear that the groups most at risk of loneliness include younger generations (including young families). I know more must be done to encourage younger people to speak out about the issues they are facing - including their mental health - and I am looking forward to meeting with constituents who have recently contacted me about this issue to discuss this. I am also working with national charities such as the British Red Cross and Mind to further understand the challenges people of all ages face and what I can do in Broxtowe to ensure that those in need feel supported.
I continue to lobby the Government for support to ensure jobs and businesses in Broxtowe are protected in the next phase of our recovery. Having spoken to businesses across the Constituency, I know the support has been vital to protecting jobs and our local economy. As well as the thousands of jobs protected via the Job Retention Scheme, £8.4m has been granted as part of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme; £31.8m has been offered as Bounce Back Loans and £14.3m has been provided as a range of grants for businesses in Broxtowe.
It is good to be returning to Parliament next week and I am looking forward to championing important causes that affect people in Broxtowe the most. This includes officially starting work on the Midlands Engine APPG - attracting investment to our region - and continuing to lobby the Government to ensure local infrastructure is supported. These will no doubt be a tough few months ahead but I want to make clear that I will continue to do my best to stand up for you all in Parliament and, as ever, my team and I will do our best to continue working on the individual problems and concerns you bring to my attention.