EALING 135 GROUP - By families, for families
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Welcome to the Ealing 135 blog

Over the past five years representing Ealing Central and Acton in Parliament, I have had the pleasure of working with a number of different people and groups, who contribute to make our area the wonderful, vibrant, welcoming place it is.  One thing that has struck me especially about the people of Ealing, is how enterprising people are, and the number of start-up businesses we have.  People seeing a problem and actually deciding to do something about it, or set up a group to work together with their neighbours.

This is certainly true of a group I have spent the past few years working with, Ealing Mums in Business.  Erin and Shelley who set it up, were both new mothers with new businesses, who clubbed together to help each other out, and now run a network supporting hundreds of other like-minded parents.  I have done my bit, by arranging for them to meet the people who can help them further, like Treasury Minister Andrea Leadsom, who gave them some advice on small business lending, but really those success stories are made when people have a vision and go ahead and realise it.  I think Government’s role is to help where possible, and to remove barriers that might prevent people from getting on with supporting their families and communities.

That was why I was so pleased with the news from the Conservative manifesto launch this week.  Already this Government has legislated to introduce 15 hours a week of free childcare for all three and four-year olds and the most deprived two year-olds which we extended to include parents who are self-employed. But because working families with children under school age face particularly high childcare costs, in the next Parliament we will give families where all parents are working an entitlement to 30 hours of free childcare for their three and four year-olds.

For me, being a Conservative is about choice, and freedom.  Ensuring people have the help they need, but otherwise giving them the freedom to make the choices that are right for them.  That is why our introduction of shared parental leave earlier this month was so important.  Families can choose what is right for them, Government giving them the freedom to make that choice. 

That is the approach I have taken to my time as the MP in Ealing and Acton.  Being approachable, meeting people, listening, feeding in people’s views, and helping to deal with problems that may arise.  I certainly hope I can continue my work for the next five years!

Angie Bray MP

 

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Over the past five years representing Ealing Central and Acton in Parliament, I have had the pleasure of working with a number of different people and groups, who contribute to make our area the wonderful, vibrant, welcoming place it is.  One thing that has struck me especially about the people of Ealing, is how enterprising people are, and the number of start-up businesses we have.  People seeing a problem and actually deciding to do something about it, or set up a group to work together with their neighbours.

This is certainly true of a group I have spent the past few years working with, Ealing Mums in Business.  Erin and Shelley who set it up, were both new mothers with new businesses, who clubbed together to help each other out, and now run a network supporting hundreds of other like-minded parents.  I have done my bit, by arranging for them to meet the people who can help them further, like Treasury Minister Andrea Leadsom, who gave them some advice on small business lending, but really those success stories are made when people have a vision and go ahead and realise it.  I think Government’s role is to help where possible, and to remove barriers that might prevent people from getting on with supporting their families and communities.

That was why I was so pleased with the news from the Conservative manifesto launch this week.  Already this Government has legislated to introduce 15 hours a week of free childcare for all three and four-year olds and the most deprived two year-olds which we extended to include parents who are self-employed. But because working families with children under school age face particularly high childcare costs, in the next Parliament we will give families where all parents are working an entitlement to 30 hours of free childcare for their three and four year-olds.

For me, being a Conservative is about choice, and freedom.  Ensuring people have the help they need, but otherwise giving them the freedom to make the choices that are right for them.  That is why our introduction of shared parental leave earlier this month was so important.  Families can choose what is right for them, Government giving them the freedom to make that choice. 

That is the approach I have taken to my time as the MP in Ealing and Acton.  Being approachable, meeting people, listening, feeding in people’s views, and helping to deal with problems that may arise.  I certainly hope I can continue my work for the next five years!

Angie Bray MP

 

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Over the past five years representing Ealing Central and Acton in Parliament, I have had the pleasure of working with a number of different people and groups, who contribute to make our area the wonderful, vibrant, welcoming place it is.  One thing that has struck me especially about the people of Ealing, is how enterprising people are, and the number of start-up businesses we have.  People seeing a problem and actually deciding to do something about it, or set up a group to work together with their neighbours.

This is certainly true of a group I have spent the past few years working with, Ealing Mums in Business.  Erin and Shelley who set it up, were both new mothers with new businesses, who clubbed together to help each other out, and now run a network supporting hundreds of other like-minded parents.  I have done my bit, by arranging for them to meet the people who can help them further, like Treasury Minister Andrea Leadsom, who gave them some advice on small business lending, but really those success stories are made when people have a vision and go ahead and realise it.  I think Government’s role is to help where possible, and to remove barriers that might prevent people from getting on with supporting their families and communities.

That was why I was so pleased with the news from the Conservative manifesto launch this week.  Already this Government has legislated to introduce 15 hours a week of free childcare for all three and four-year olds and the most deprived two year-olds which we extended to include parents who are self-employed. But because working families with children under school age face particularly high childcare costs, in the next Parliament we will give families where all parents are working an entitlement to 30 hours of free childcare for their three and four year-olds.

For me, being a Conservative is about choice, and freedom.  Ensuring people have the help they need, but otherwise giving them the freedom to make the choices that are right for them.  That is why our introduction of shared parental leave earlier this month was so important.  Families can choose what is right for them, Government giving them the freedom to make that choice. 

That is the approach I have taken to my time as the MP in Ealing and Acton.  Being approachable, meeting people, listening, feeding in people’s views, and helping to deal with problems that may arise.  I certainly hope I can continue my work for the next five years!

Angie Bray MP

 

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It was tricky thinking of the first blog post for the new site. It was tricky until I realised it should be about the backbone of the group, parents.

When I joined Ealing 135, my son was six months old. My parents live abroad, my sisters were studying or working long hours and my inlaws all work full time too. I was alone a lot and, inevitably, lonely. In addition, I was full of self doubt. I had started out all dreams and aspirations, the natural birth, the oh so easy breastfeeding, the highly stimulating and educational activities I would complete. I managed the natural birth by luck, I mix fed for the first two weeks because I didn't produce enough milk at first and, after a few weeks of exhausted attempts at playing with what is, essentially, an eating, pooing and cuddle machine, I hit the DVD collection to watch in the background. 

I then, of course, felt horribly guilty about it all. Until I joined the group. The first time parents' group was a revelation. It turned out that everyone had doubts, worries and fears, slefishly, this was excellent!

When I posted on the Facebook page asking about what someone termed parenting 'guilty secrets' I didn't expect such a quick and witty set of responses. It turns out we've done it all, and I'm no exception. My children watch TV, they eat chocolate and I use food as a bribe; all things I swore I would never do before children. I will also admit to dropping half a Whopper on my firstborn when I attempted to breastfeed while enjoying a Burger King. I'm not alone, other parents told me they, too, have abandoned some of the ideals that they began parenthood with. Interestingly, a few also admitted, as do I, that I hide things from other parents. Even if it's a noncommittal, hmmmmmm, instead of 'Actually, my son ate chocolate laden cereal this morning and I feel like a failure'.

The real issue is why we even feel guilty. Who decided it was ok to judge our peers or feel judged ourselves? Ealing 135 has offered me a place where I feel free to air concerns, offer advice, take advice myself and just rant sometimes, without the judgement of others.

So join me, feel free to be less than perfect, laugh at the lows and celebrate the highs. Pick your battles and...

*What is that in your mouth? Did you get it off the floor? But is it food? It is? Ok then...*

Be happy.  

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We'll be blogging here soon, so please check back later.

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