7days4stow: One Week for Walthamstow campaign

Each year has fifty two weeks- given the challenges we will face in 2013, I’m asking residents to consider giving the equivalent of one week of their time during the year to fighting for Walthamstow’s future.

Walthamstow is under pressure as never before- unlike other parts of London our unemployment rate isn’t falling and the cost of living here continues to rise. Eighteen legal loan sharks now operate on our streets, and our foodbank and nightshelter struggle to meet the needs of local residents. In 2013 changes to tax credits and benefits, coupled with cuts to public services and Britain’s economic difficulties mean many more in Walthamstow could find themselves unable to cope.

There is so much at risk - from our hard working small businesses to our young people desperate to get their foot on the career ladder or our fantastic community spirit that makes this a place like no other in London.  As your MP I will continue to fight against the forces hitting Walthamstow and for the future we could have- and I’m asking for your help to make sure we do what we can now to help those vulnerable in our community. Without action we will all pay a heavy price in years to come as the potential of so many is damaged by these changes- but together we can and will make a difference.

Over the coming year I’m looking to recruit volunteers to give the equivalent of a week of time to some of the local projects that address these challenges. There are many possibilities for action – whether providing support to households in debt through our Nightshelter, theE17 pop up Kitchen or our ‘eat or heat’ foodbank, or challenging the legal loan sharks and providing financial advice services. We can also invest in Walthamstow’s future by giving our young people the headstart they need through a week’s work experience or fighting for the resources our schools need. The more people willing to get involved, the more local initiatives we can help that will provide opportunity and support for our neighbours.

I know many residents are pressed for time so I want to find a way to help make the best use of the time and skills they can give to this project. There will be many ways to be involved- whether you give a whole week of time in one go to a particular project or help out seven times over the course of the year. Whether in person, or online, daytime, evening or weekend. Whether helping with administration or acting with these organizations to support those in need everyone in Walthamstow has a contribution to make that can benefit our community. All I ask of participants is the equivalent of one week of time in total throughout the course of 2013.

Want to know more? Have ideas about how to help get this project off the ground? Or suggested projects to include? Come to our first planning meeting on Thursday 10 January at 6.30pm for an hour in Walthamstow. If you want to join us please email me to RSVP and for details of location. You can also find out more by following our hashtag #7days4stow or our new twitter account which is being run by our first volunteer or our facebook group!