The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘kindness matters’. With garden centres and many shops reopening, life is taking on some normality but the vulnerable still need our support.

Dorchester Community Support Group is appealing for paintings and letters, to brighten the lives of those it is helping, to be emailed to or posted in the box outside The Prince of Wales First School.

I’ve recently been introduced to a charity with kindness at its core. Shared Lives carers share their homes and family lives with young people and adults needing help with everyday life, find out more at

I also want to support and raise the profile of fostering in Dorset. If you are considering this worthwhile opportunity, especially during Foster Care Fortnight, Dorset Council offers online drop-in sessions.

In Westminster, I’ve spoken with the Prime Minister; sharing farmers’ concerns about food standards of imported goods, in advance of the vote on the Agriculture Bill. On Wednesday, during Prime Minister’s Questions, I asked Boris Johnson to reconsider supporting constituents employed before 19th March but not eligible for the Job Retention Scheme.

I have written to the Secretary of State for Education, for our return to schools to be thoroughly understood, particularly regarding three-tier education. Also, during recent online ministerial meetings I’ve discussed broadband speeds; bus and rail services, illegal immigration and UK farming standards.

Although West Dorset has a relatively low number of coronavirus cases, I share concerns about increased visitor numbers as lockdown relaxes - although some fake social media reports about this are unhelpful.

If we adhere to social distancing, it is not only safe but also important to start taking responsibility for ourselves; as the first step to returning our communities to recovery and normality, as well as reducing the indirect effects of this virus.