I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Nelson Mandela last night. Nelson Mandela set an example for us all; he was a beacon of hope whose courage, conviction and humanity transcended politics.
May he rest in peace.
On Thursday evening I had the enormous privilege of presenting prizes at the Surrey Mirror Heart of the Community awards. This prestigious event recognised the achievements of outstanding groups from across our community.
From the Surrey East Girlguides through to the organising committee of Caterham Festival, the event showcased an extraordinary range of fantastic local causes. In an age where it has become fashionable to say that community is breaking down, events like this serve as a reminder that there are so many people working tirelessly to make our local area what it is, and it was great to play a part in celebrating their success.
Photographs: Sam speaking at the ceremony (top) and presenting the 1st place Education Award to Girlguiding Surrey East.
Every primary and secondary school in my constituency has been sent free Get Money Smart posters and teaching materials by national charity pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group), which wants to get children talking about money in the classroom.
The charity's Get Money Smart posters – for children aged up to seven, 11, 14 and 16 – are designed to encourage classroom discussions about things children can do to learn more about money and personal finance. Ideas for different ages include checking your change, estimating the cost of a weekly shop, comparing mobile phone tariffs and planning and budgeting for a trip.
I'm pleased to see that our local schools are being encouraged to hold discussions with their pupils over 4 things the posters suggest they can do to learn about money – with the 5th being left up to each class to decide. Ideas for the 5th activity can then be shared with other classes across the country on Twitter using the #5thingstodo hashtag.
I am looking for a bright and enthusiastic apprentice to join my busy office in Westminster.
This 12 month apprenticeship combines 'on the job' training, working for an MP in their office, with a formal qualification in Business & Administration. As a key part of my team, you will gain experience of the varied work I do as the MP for East Surrey, and once a fortnight you will take part in workshops and carry out your study towards an NVQ Level 3 Business & Administration qualification.
Roles & responsibilities will include:
• Helping with constituency correspondence
• Conducting research on a wide range of issues
• Assisting with the preparation of briefings and press releases
• Assisting with constituency campaigns
• General administrative duties, including maintaining systems and databases
• Carrying out independent project work as required
• Assisting in media monitoring
The role would suit someone with a keen interest in politics and a can-do attitude. To find out more about the position and how you can apply, please visit http://parliamentaryacademy.org/2013/11/27/parliamentary-apprentice-to-sam-gyimah-mp/. Please note that candidates with a degree/level 4 qualification are NOT eligible for this position.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Due to the financial crisis we inherited, people who want to set up a new business have often found it hard to get a loan. This has prevented people with ideas and aspiration from putting their business plans into action.
Last week's figures show that the Government's Start-Up Loans are changing that - here in Tandridge £115,450 has been lent to 22 budding entrepreneurs. This will ensure that all their potential and ideas don't go to waste.
New businesses are the lifeblood of a healthy economy, helping to create jobs and growth. That is why I am also supporting Small Business Saturday – taking place Saturday 7 December – which aims to promote the value and contribution of small, independent businesses often at the heart of our communities and high streets.
If you want to get involved in Small Business Saturday please check out the facebook page or get in touch with my office.
Today I convened a meeting in Westminster between local residents, the Environment Agency and Surrey County Council in order to highlight the plight of residents in Clay Hall Lane, Copthorne, affected by a large refuse site. The meeting proved highly informative offering all sides an opportunity to discuss the site as it is and actions to be taken going forward.
I want to thank the Environment Agency and Surrey County Council for their time and effort as well as praise my assiduous constituents for continuing to take up the fight.
Photo: Sam Gyimah MP, Mike Luxford, Phil Hunt and Peter Thompson
Earlier today I visited three apprentices at Caterham Dene Hospital who recently started their apprenticeships with First Community Health & Care as part of my '100 in 100' campaign.
It was wonderful to meet these talented and dedicated recruits, and see first hand how the next generation is benefiting from opportunities that local businesses are providing.
The three apprentices shared their thoughts and experiences with me about the scheme:
Summer Penfold, Age 19:
"I am very pleased to have been given the opportunity to do an apprenticeship with First Community, I believe the experience and knowledge I will gain here will be greatly beneficial for my future career. Although the qualifications are in Business Administration, everything we do is for the improvement of patient care. It's great to be able to make the connection."
Matthew Parker, Age 18:
"It's a wonderful opportunity for me, and up until now I didn't really value what an apprenticeship was, and the possibilities that comes with it. It's important that young people like myself understand that there is a different way to gain valuable work experience, by learning and doing qualifications at the same time as well as enjoy themselves whilst doing so."
Tyrell Wray, Age 17:
"I feel that having this apprenticeship is the best career start that I can have. I didn't realise that you could get this experience in the NHS. As well as getting the business administration qualifications I will be gaining first-hand experience in a really wide range of areas such as estates, communications and patient safety and will be able to go into another job confident in what I am doing."
Horley is an increasingly vibrant and active town. What with the Regeneration Fund pumping new life into the high street and excellent transport links, it will come as no surprise that more and more people are choosing to start families in and around the town.
But with an increase in population we need more infrastructure investment and more educational provision so that every child in Horley has access to a good start in life. The issue of school places is something that has been raised with me a number of times in my Horley surgeries by concerned parents.
So I am thrilled that Surrey County Council have approved plans to provide extra primary school places in the town via the extension to a current primary school and a brand new school. This has been thoroughly welcomed by local parents - a huge thank you is due to the County Council for recognising and acting upon this need.
Huge thanks to East Surrey Conservative Association for reselecting me as their candidate for the General Election in 2015. It is an enormous privilege to stand again for this wonderful constituency.
Don't forget, in addition to this website you can also keep up to date with what I am doing as your MP on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GyimahforEastSurrey.
Yesterday I was delighted to have been asked by the Prime Minister to join the Government Whips' Office. This means I will be responsible for helping secure the passage of the Government's legislative programme through Parliament.
This new role follows on from my previous appointment as the Prime Minister's Parliamentary Private Secretary in 2012.
Alongside my constituency responsibilities I am looking forward to taking on this new challenge.
Please click here to find out more!
The smile that says Britain's on the mend: The day that proved George Osborne austerity plan is wo... http://t.co/OeBb1dips3 via @MailOnline
2 hours ago
Nelson Mandela: the man who changed the course of history via @Telegraph http://t.co/03nd4b9qVW
2 hours ago
A beacon whose courage, conviction and humanity transcended politics, now belongs to the ages #RIPNelsonMandela
11 hours ago
RT @kamalahmed1: Also in the Autumn Statement: driverless cars, ¬£10m for the first town to develop a "testing ground" #AS2013 #pedestriansw‚Ä¶
21 hours ago
Scraping employers' national insurance for under-21's, great move to help young get work.
23 hours ago
Great news that the Autumn Statement has measures to help more young people get work
23 hours ago
Re-occupation relief for 18 months with a 50% discount for new occupants of retail premises empty for a year or more.
23 hours ago
Extending the doubling of the small business rates relief to April 2015.
23 hours ago