Greg met Suzi Mitchell, Chief Executive and Founder of the charity Taylor Made Dreams, which has been chosen as the Local Charity of the Year at Sainsbury's store in Tunbridge Wells.
Taylor Made Dreams works to enable children with life-limiting illnesses to help them draw up and fulfil a 'bucket list' of experiences they want to have in the remaining time they have.
Last Friday Greg visited local motorsport firms, Jota Sport and Jota Advanced Engineering. Since being founded just eighteen years ago, Jota has already earned an enviable reputation, becoming internationally respected on the racing circuit.
"Jota's breadth and depth of engineering expertise, racing experience and passion is extremely impressive. From a few small units, employing local people, Jota works on some of the very best British innovation and exports it worldwide. Their success on the podium is well deserved."
Greg was delighted to start a sponsored walk which was raising funds for Tunbridge Wells Youth Football Club to build a new clubhouse. Over 60 people took part in this event which raised a fantastic £6,000.
Greg cut the ribbon on the new swimming pool at Rose Hill School on Friday, planting an azalea to mark the formal opening of the recently completed facility.
Addressing pupils, teachers and governors, Greg said:
“This is a wonderful new pool, replacing the old outdoor one. It will bring year round pleasure to everyone who uses it, learning to swim, keeping fit and having fun.”
Greg attended the second annual Tunbridge Wells chess tournament, sponsored by Savills, which attracted two International Grand Masters and two International Masters, as well as one of the most promising young players in the UK, nine year old Shreyas Royal.
A total of 84 players took part in the tournament which was held over two days at The Tunbridge Wells Bridge Club and is also the home of the Chess Club.
The Open Tournament was won by local club player, International Grand Master John Emms, a former England Olympiad Team Captain.
Greg was delighted to officially open a new outdoor classroom at Goudhurst & Kilndown CE Primary School.
The new building called 'The Hide', along with a beautiful re-landscaped pond will enhance the children's outdoor studies.
"There are not many schools that can boast of such fantastic facilities. It's really important that children learn about the natural world and this new building and pond will enable pupils to get close-up to nature through activities like pond dipping."
The new facilities at the school have been supported by the Co-op, HushHeath Winery and Tesco.
Greg visited a leading supplier of hospital furniture in the UK – Ocura Healthcare – which is based in Paddock Wood.
After the visit, Greg said:
"I was really impressed by Ocura Healthcare – they are very innovative, both in terms of the development of their products and in how they are intending to adapt and grow their business.
"Most people don't really consider the furniture when they visit a hospital but it's really important that it is well designed – for the comfort of patients and to help staff."
Greg visited Mascalls Academy in Paddock Wood to find out more about The Scholars Programme – a national scheme which gives school pupils from under-represented backgrounds an opportunity to experience university-style learning and encourage them to apply to university.
The programme recruits, trains and places PhD researchers in non-selective state schools to deliver university-style tutorials based on their own research to small groups of pupils. The young people taking part also receive information, advice and guidance about university life and making a successful application.
"It was great to visit Mascalls Academy today and meet pupils taking part in The Scholars Programme. They were very enthusiastic about the subject they have been studying and I was really impressed by how the programme has expanded their horizons in terms of their future plans.
"I would definitely encourage more schools to give their pupils the chance to benefit from this programme."
The Scholars Programme is run by The Brilliant Club - a charity that exists to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds progressing to highly-selective universities. More details can be found on their website: http://www.thebrilliantclub.org/
Greg, along with his neighbouring MP for Tonbridge & Malling Tom Tugendhat, officially opened a new offroad cycle path which provides a brand new link between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells along the route of the A21. The new cyclepath links to Tunbridge Wells via North Farm Industrial Estate and Pembury Hospital. There is an existing cyclepath along the Pembury Road into the centre of the town.
"This new offroad cycle path is a fantastic opportunity for people to cycle to work or for leisure. It's a great addition to the local cycle network."
"We campaigned hard to have a cyclepath as part of the A21 dualling scheme and also that it should include links at either end to Tonbridge Station and Pembury Hospital. These links were crucial for it to be a successful commuting route for cyclists so I pressed Highways England to fund the two links and they agreed to do so.
"It's initiatives like this that encourage people to get on their bikes rather than use the car so I'm delighted to see the route finally open."
After the official opening, Greg along with Tom Tugendhat, local councillors and members of local cycling groups, undertook an informal bike ride along the new cyclepath.
Greg cycled the new route on an electric bike loaned from Cycling Made Easy shop on St John's Road, Tunbridge Wells.
Commenting on his ride, Greg said:
"In spite of the rain, we had a brilliant time riding the new cyclepath. There were people on tandems, on electric bikes and with young children in trailers. It's only a couple of miles long so very commutable. I really enjoyed using an electric bike – especially up the hills! We need to get the word out so that people know it's there and might consider cycling between Tunbridge Wells and Tunbridge, instead of jumping in the car."
A pedestrian/cycle counter, using the latest technology, has been installed on the route which will automatically record the number of users.
Greg was delighted to help launch a new initiative during Mental Health Awareness Week which aims to promote positive mental health and wellbeing in Tunbridge Wells.
"One in four people will experience poor mental health at some point in their lives and it can be a very isolating experience. Anything we can do to help raise awareness is a good thing so I'm delighted to support the BE;ME campaign."
As well as raising awareness, the BE;ME – BE TOGETHER encourages us to take time from our busy schedules for relationships. The Teacup Campaign highlights the positive impact social connection can have people's emotional wellbeing. Taking time for a cuppa and a chat can help to support those who may be struggling with their own mental health.
The special BE;ME teacups will be used in local cafes.
BE;ME – BE TOGETHER is a joint initiative between Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Royal Tunbridge Wells Together supported by local businesses, charities, voluntary and community groups.
To find out more about the campaign and how to get involved look on the Royal Tunbridge Wells Together website: http://www.tunbridgewellstogether.co.uk/
Greg met Suzi Mitchell, Chief Executive and Founder of the charity Taylor Made Dreams, which has...
Last Friday Greg visited local motorsport firms, Jota Sport and Jota Advanced Engineering. Since...
Greg was delighted to start a sponsored walk which was raising funds for Tunbridge Wells Youth...
Greg cut the ribbon on the new swimming pool at Rose Hill School on Friday, planting an azalea to...