As part of my regular visits around the constituency, I was up in Bude and the surrounding area meeting constituents. 

A special thanks goes to the New Inn, Kilkhampton for sheltering us from the hail over lunch and for the great food and hospitality. It was great to speak with residents and meet with local Cllr Shorne Tilbey. 

Back in Westminster, it was a busy week with meetings and government business, including a discussion with BT about rural connectivity and an event to promote awareness of breast cancer, which can affect both men and women. 

Early diagnosis is the key to surviving breast cancer, and indeed, other forms of cancer so I encourage all constituents to ensure they are up to date with regular breast screenings.

I spoke to GWR this week and they let me know that their Customer and Community Improvement Fund has now opened, and they are very much looking forward to receiving applications from groups in North Cornwall. Bidders have until 11.59pm on Monday, March 25, to apply. 

Applications must be made online — the application form and more guidance are here  

GWR is particularly interested in bids that show a tangible benefit to the community, and this year they are particularly keen to encourage applications to support veterans, long term unemployed, women and girls and the environment — but they have informed me that they will look at any bid as long as it links to the railway and addresses an area of social need. 

These grants are worth up to £50,000 for community and voluntary groups, local authorities, and not-for-profit organisations to deliver a wide range of small to medium-sized projects that benefit communities across the GWR network.

Another funding opportunity that constituents should be aware of is the government’s Shared Prosperity Fund. The fund, which has already delivered significant investment in Cornwall, is offering grants of between £5,000 and £200,000 for locally based projects and skills investments that tackle deprivation and level up communities across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 

A total of £7.6-million is from funding allocated through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to support projects and activities. 

This funding comes directly from the UK government, and it is administered by Cornwall Council. 

There is a two-stage application process; groups must first submit an online expression of interest before being invited to complete a full application. The deadline for this round of SPF is March 15, so don’t hang around.

If you require my help with anything, including benefits, the NHS, or cost of living support, please get in touch. 

I also hold regular advice surgeries across North Cornwall, over the phone and online to book in please contact me via [email protected] or 01208 74337.