MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

A HIT television show and a chance to save lives are two of good causes I’m doing my best to campaign for this week.

And I’m hoping for some audience participation so if you can get involved I would urge you to seize the chance.

Firstly, I’m backing a potentially fantastic opportunity for Fylde’s small villages following the launch of the popular TV show, Village SOS.

The BBC One programme is helping six small villages to start new community businesses.

The show has been a tremendous success and is a joint initiative between the Big Lottery Fund (BLF) and the BBC.

But when the cameras stop rolling the good work does not end there.

An educational programme has been set up to allow other villages to follow suit and The Village SOS Competition has been launched.

That means a £5.3m fund is now up for grabs with 250 grants of between £10,000 and £30,000 available to help kick start community businesses.

There are three main entry requirements: the idea must be for a community enterprise, the village must be in a rural area with fewer than 3,000 people living in it, and the BLF can only accept one entry per village.

For more information visit the website www.villagesos.org.uk or ring the helpline 0845 434 9123. 

Secondly, I want young men from Fylde to become lifesavers.

Charity Anthony Nolan, which helps provide bone marrow and stem cell transplants, are attempting to persuade 10,000 male donors to come forward.

They hope the campaign will help save hundreds or even thousands of lives and have urged MP’s to get recruiting to help solve a big problem – the huge shortage of young male donors on the register.

Men aged 18-30 are much more likely to be chosen to donate but they make up just 12 per cent of those who register.

To sign up to the register visit www.anthonynolan.org/mp and enter the code UVF5.

To view a very powerful YouTube video on the work of Anthony Nolan visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN2nEft7iAU.

Please spread the word for this tremendous cause and let’s make sure Fylde doesn’t let the side down.

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