New Wellbeing Hub for Members’ Staff

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The Wellness Working Group has launched a new Wellbeing Hub for Members’ Staff.

This is a dedicated space created by MPs’ staff for MPs’ staff; they know just how difficult this job can be and the importance of taking time to look after yourself.  They have gathered all resources to support you on this site.

The Wellness Working Group is a cross party group of members staff that aims to place a greater focus on mental health and increase support for members staff wellbeing.

Please visit the Wellbeing Hub for Members’ Staff here: https://hopuk.sharepoint.com/sites/hct-wellbeinghub

There will be a tour of the new Wellbeing Hub at 3pm on Wednesday 12 May 2021.  Please click here for details of how to join: https://hopuk.sharepoint.com/sites/hct-wellbeinghub/_layouts/15/Event.aspx?ListGuid=391ff5e9-e147-4629-996a-5998ff65a95a&ItemId=3

The Public Affairs Guide to Westminster: The Handbook of Effective and Ethical Lobbying

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Award-winning public affairs professional Robert McGeachy has written The Public Affairs Guide to Westminster: The Handbook of Effective and Ethical Lobbying, drawing upon his experience of working in the House of Lords for many years, and of leading successful UK-wide public affairs campaigns.

The Westminster Public Affairs Guide shows organisations and individuals how to influence both Houses of the UK Parliament and the UK Government, and to do so on an ethical, cost effective basis.  Full of useful hints and tips, and written with the benefit of years of experience and success in the profession, the Westminster Public Affairs Guide is the essential tool for those seeking to find out more about the Westminster political system, about developing campaigns and about how to engage with the UK Government, and with both Houses of the UK Parliament, to influence policy and legislation.

The book will be of interest both to public affairs professionals, and to parliamentary staff. It will help parliamentary staff to maximise the effectiveness of their support for the MPs or Peers they work for, and strengthen the latter’s capacity to influence legislation and policy development.

The Westminster Public Affairs Guide has been published by the Welsh Academic Press. Further details can be accessed at https://welsh-academic-press.shopfactory.com/contents/en-uk/p60.html or  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Public-Affairs-Guide-Westminster-Effective/dp/1860571344

Commons Library Research Briefing – “Common law marriage” and cohabitation

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The number of couples choosing to live together (cohabit) without getting married or entering a civil partnership, in what is often called “a common law marriage”, increased by 137% between 1996 and 2020.

Although cohabitating couples do have legal protection in several areas, such as under the law relating to domestic abuse, cohabitation gives no general legal status to a couple, unlike marriage and civil partnership from which many legal rights and responsibilities flow. Many people are unaware this is the case.

This briefing provides information about the number of cohabiting couples, how the law applies to them, the Law Commission’s proposals for reform, and other calls for reform.

You can find the briefing here: “Common law marriage” and cohabitation

Commons Library Research Briefing – Coronavirus: International Travel FAQs for England

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The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper which provides answers to frequently asked questions about international travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus: International Travel FAQs for England

This paper is a compilation of frequently asked questions about international travel from and to England, and how it is affected by current restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The paper addresses the following questions:

  • What is the international travel ban?
  • What are the reasonable excuses for travel?
  • Who is exempt from the international travel ban and travel requirements?
  • What are the penalties for international travel offences?
  • I’m travelling to the UK, what do I need to do?
  • What COVID-19 testing is required after arrival in England?
  • What is the “test to release” scheme?
  • What is hotel quarantine for travel from “red list” countries?
  • Are there any exemptions from Hotel quarantine?
  • What if I cannot afford to pay for Hotel Quarantine?
  • When can I go on holiday?
  • I can’t fly because of lockdown, but my flight wasn’t cancelled, what are my options?

Virtual Events for Mental Health Awareness Week – 10th – 14th May

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Image shows a poster listing the various events taking place on Mental Health Awareness Week

Please join us for a series of fascinating events to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

We are also launching the WWG’s very own SharePoint site which includes information on:

  • Spending the IPSA wellbeing funds
  • Group supervision – what is it and how might it help staff?
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Courses run by the House on mental health
  • Templates and exercises for you and your team to use to promote wellbeing.

Please email mpsstaff-wwg@parliament.uk in order to receive the links to each meeting.

Monday 10th May
3pm – 4pm –
Ceri Finnegan, Mind
‘Coping in Tough Times’
________________________________________________________________________________

Tuesday 11th May
11am – 12pm
Hein Ten Cate, NHS Consultant Clinical Psychologist on Trauma
‘Understanding trauma, types of trauma, supporting others and looking after oneself.’
________________________________________________________________________________

Wednesday 12th May
3pm – 4pm
MP’s Staff Wellness Working Group
‘Join us to see our new Sharepoint site’
________________________________________________________________________________

Thursday 13th May
3pm – 4pm
Dr Robbie Anderson, Managing Director, Chimp Paradox
‘Optimising the performance of the human mind’
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Friday 14th May
11am – 12pm
Rachel Edwards, Life and Career Coach
‘Who are you and where are you going?’

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Take care

Chloe, Steph, Estelle & Tom
Wellness Working Group

Hotlines list updated 22 April 2021

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The hotlines list has been updated today.

Please can you ensure that you use only the current list which can be found on the intranet here: https://intranet.parliament.uk/Documents/research-online-resources/research/constituency-casework/w4mp-hotlines.pdf

Please do not save or print the hotlines list, as this risks you using incorrect details and causing annoyance to the people you are contacting.

Follow the Speaker on Twitter

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Follow the new official @CommonsSpeaker Twitter account!

The Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, launched his new official Speaker Twitter  account on Wednesday 21 April 2021.

Follow @CommonsSpeaker to stay up to date with his work as Speaker of the UK House of Commons, both inside and beyond the Chamber.

Wellness Working Group Virtual meeting: Kooth, Mental Health Support for Children and Young People

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Wellness Working Group Online Event

Kooth.com, Mental Health Support for Children and Young People
Time: 11am – 12pm
Date: Friday 16 April 2021

Dr. Lynne Green, Consultant Psychologist and Chief Clinical Officer and Gareth Evans, Director of Accounts and Engagement for Kooth will cover what Kooth is for children and young people, how to talk to parents about Kooth, how to access their services and discuss some case studies on the work they do with children and young people.

1 in 5 children and young people suffer from mental health illness in any given year. Kooth.com is commissioned by the NHS and Local Authorities to provide anonymous and personalised mental health support for children and young people, providing end to end support whatever the need.

To join this meeting, please email mpsstaff-wwg@parliament.uk

As always, please feel free to share this event with your colleagues and encourage them to join the Group.