Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Mark Reckless MP Nominates Local Groups For National Award

Mark Reckless MP has nominated two local organisations for a prestigious national award that could see them benefit from exposure on the national stage.

Mark Reckless recently called on Rochester and Strood residents to help him choose a local organisation for the awards.

Following feedback from contributors and regular visitors to this site, Mark has decided to nominate local community organisations Medway Magic and Strood Community Project for the prestigious awards.

The annual Centre for Social Justice Awards recognise effective poverty fighting groups from across the UK. Now in its sixth year, the CSJ Awards have brought over 70 winning voluntary groups to the attention of the national media and policy makers and a total of £223,250 has been given out to date.

Mark recently visited Medway MAGIC during their meeting at Woodies Youth Centre to hear for himself how the group is helping provide support to parents of children with Autism.

MAGIC stands for Medway Autism Group Information Centre and the group was formed to provide information and support to parents by parents whom themselves live with Autism.

In their own words:

Having an Autistic child is demanding in itself and often there is little time to find out more about Autism. Collectively we have a vast amount of information and experiences and are able to help each other get the best for our children. The children also benefit from having a network of friends.

MAGIC offers a point of contact for information on all aspects of Autism and co-existing conditions. We also aim to meet your child’s needs and make each event as individual and suitable as possible.

Speaking after the visit, Mark said:

“I was tremendously impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication shown by all the volunteers and parents at Medway MAGIC.

I know from my own MP casework that having a child with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome or Autistic Syndrome (ASD) can be challenging in terms of finding the right help and advice. Having a local community network like MAGIC who can offer the support that parents need is very welcome.

Medway MAGIC has done a great job in raising awareness of the issues surrounding children with Autism and I found the meeting really constructive.

I’d like to thank all the parents and volunteers who gave up their time to meet me and I am proud to offer my support to both Medway MAGIC and Strood Community Project by way of nominating them for the CSJ Awards.

I was originally seeking to submit one group for this year’s awards, but having seen the fantastic work that is being undertaken by both organisations I simply couldn’t choose one over the other.

Though Strood Community Project and Medway MAGIC work with the public in different ways, they share a common purpose in helping tackle the underlying causes of social problems and challenges faced by the community here in Rochester and Strood and beyond. I wish them both well."

Responding to the nomination, Kate Broom of Strood Community Project said:

“We are a non-profit organisation so the work we do isn’t rewarded with a large bonus or a pay cheque. We rely on volunteers to give up their time to help others so having some recognition for all their effort is our bonus.

It is fantastic to have been nominated for this award and I know it will mean a lot to the people of Strood who have been there to support us since we started in 2006.”

To find out more about how Medway MAGIC and Strood Community Project are working to help our community, please visit their respective websites here and here.


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