It has been a busy Easter with visits across the constituency, including to AAH’s warehouse in Harold Hill to meet some of the team members who helped get vital medicines and vaccines to the right places during the pandemic. AAH (All About Health) distributes 14 million medicines each week to over 14000 pharmacies and hospitals and were asked to supply the very first Nightingale Hospital at the Excel Centre at a moment's notice.
In employing over 200 people at their Harold Hill site, many of whom are local and have worked for the company for decades, AAH is one of Havering's biggest employers. I was invited to unveil a plaque to mark the tremendous new investment that has been made in their Faringdon Avenue warehouse, and got the opportunity to thank staff for their pandemic work on a tour of the facility.
I was glad to welcome students and teachers from Greece, Latvia, Italy, Bulgaria and Spain at Emerson Park Academy over Easter too. It was a pleasure to meet local student, Lacie, who has pioneered British Sign Language lessons at the school for her peers. I am also pleased to support plans for a new special educational needs unit at Suttons Primary School in Hornchurch which will provide twelve new places for local pupils from September 2023. The facility is designed to meet some of the demand for high quality SEND provision and benefits from new government funds to improve special needs education - something I have successfully campaigned for in my time as Hornchurch & Upminster's local MP.
In earlier consultations on the forthcoming Lower Thames Crossing, I had echoed the requests from constituents and community groups for improved access to green spaces and safe crossing across some of our busiest highways. I was pleased to welcome the project team to the constituency to look at their proposals for a new bridge connecting Cranham's Moor Lane to Folkes Lane, something we had specifically called for. This will enable walkers and cyclists to safely travel over the A127 and enable uninterrupted and easy access to the new community forest at Hole Farm.
Finally, I welcomed the formal opening of the beautiful Covid Memorial Woodland at Hornchurch Country Park to remember the family and friends we sadly lost to Covid. The woodland is a heartfelt and poignant reminder of the incredible service our key workers provided to support us as well as remembering the tragic loss of life our community has seen.