Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Rally for a hospital

Some 1,500 came along for the hospital rally and march on Saturday.

Afterwards, I joined Cllr David Hannent at Blakes to help raise funds for the Dover hospital campaign. We pulled pints behind the bar. Blakes kindly donated all profits from the event to the hospital campaign fund.

It was great fun to help raise funds for the hospital campaign. Blakes have been incredibly generous in their support. Cllr Hannent deserves the congratulations of the whole community for the great work he did with Reg Hansell to organise the most amazing and successful march I've ever seen.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Marching for a hospital

Over the last ten years, Buckland Hospital has been ruined by the Government. It's now got to the point where it isn't really a hospital at all - not beds, no doctor led emergency services.

Today I joined the march of some 1,500 people calling for Dover to have a proper hospital. Reg Hansell and the Dover Hospital campaign group organised it. I spoke of the need for Dover to have its fair share and a proper hospital was part of that.

In the picture, Reg is in the foreground as I have a few words with the charming and engaging C Cllr Newman, who represents Dover Town at KCC.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

World Hepatitis C Day marked

World Hepatitis C Day was 19 May 2008. I joined Dover Hepatitis C campaigner Tracy de Gietelink to mark the day.

Few infected people know they have the condition. Tracy, who herself has Hepatitis C, runs the "Woman Aloud" The C in Me workshop to bring attention to Hepatitis C and how carriers can avoid infecting others.

Tracy told me that this condition is the leading cause of liver disease worldwide. Yet Hepatitis C has a 'zero' profile amongst the general population in this country.

Hepatitis C is most commonly associated with drug users, and the prison population, so measures are already in place in these areas, to educate and identify carriers of the virus. The workshop seeks to reach the people, especially women, (there's been a 40% increase in ladies over the age of 60, diagnosed with Hepatitis C, in the last year) who have had either medical or dental procedures, before 1991, (when proper Hep C screening of blood donations began). They might have unknowingly received contaminated blood products.

Another group that need flagging up are the growing amount of people of all ages having body art and piercings. As Hepatitis C shows no symptoms, until the end, who knows who sat in that chair before them? It could have been anyone. Tracey was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 1991… after having given blood on 3 prior occasions.

I was really impressed by Tracy. She is doing fantastic work - not for herself, but to warn others to take care. That's real compassion. I admire Tracy so much for her work. She highlighted to me the importance for routine medical testing for Hepatitis C.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Go Whites!

Congratulations to Dover Athletic on becoming Ryman League Division One South champions.

Winning the league was a tremendous feat and a great success for the club and our community. I was personally overjoyed to see the team lift the cup recently following the Sittingbourne game and take it for a well deserved walk around the pitch! The team deserve the highest praise for their great effort and the brilliant result.

Yet congratulations are also due to everyone at the club who helped achieve victory. Not least the club's board. The long, near 4 year, march back from relegations and financial problems didn't just happen by chance. It happened because of the unity of purpose shared by everyone at the club from the board downward. This I saw for myself attending the presentation dinner at the Ramada.

The Whites are so fortunate to be so well supported. There are regularly over 1,200 supporters in the Dover terraces. With this kind of support, the team can only go from strength to strength. Go Whites!