This is my first report since being re-elected as the County Councillor for the Clent Hills Division. I would like to begin by saying how much I appreciate the support I received during the Election and to say how humbled I felt by the result. I would also like to pay tribute to the other candidates that stood in the Election; it takes an enormous investment in terms of both money and time to make this commitment. I believe that everyone that stands does so with the best of intentions and I thank them for standing.

I have been appointed as the Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing on Worcestershire County Council. Health and Wellbeing is fundamental to the lives of all residents in this County and I look forward to the addressing the challenges of this new role.

Worcestershire Children First (“WCF”) are encouraging parents to sign up to the county’s register for children with disabilities and special educational needs. On signing up to the register, you will receive a certificate stating that your child is on the register. This may be able to be used to get discounts at local attractions. Any child or young person in Worcestershire with a special educational need and/or disability can be on the register. You do not have to provide any proof of need or disability and do not need to have a diagnosis and there are no assessments. It is completely voluntary and you can remove your details at any time. By registering, families can be kept up to date on services and support across Worcestershire and provide feedback to help us understand your experiences. WCF will communicate news and updates with those parent/carers and young people who gave consent to be contacted in the future. For more information and to sign up, please visit: www.worcestershire.gov.uk/cwdregister

FREE SCHOOL MEALS: The County Council was delighted to receive a Government grant for £1.5 million to provide free school meals and activities and support families over the summer holidays. This funding will enable Ready, Steady, Worcestershire to launch an exciting range of summer activities, with meals, for disadvantaged children across the county. Ready, Steady, Worcestershire is a Council service which provides information about food, activities and support available to families and children during the school holidays. This help is available to families with children from nursery and primary ages, through to older children and teenagers. In November 2020, the Government announced that the Holiday, Activities and Food (HAF) programme, which has provided healthy food and enriching activities to children since 2018, will be expanded across the whole of England this year to children in every local authority.

The booking system will be going live early next month, to register an interest in a place for their child on this summer’s programme, parents can visit this link: Register interest summer activities with meals.

CARERS WEEK: The County Council and Worcestershire Children First were proud to support Carers Week this month. Over 63,000 people in Worcestershire are currently unpaid carers and this includes one in seven workers. It is important to remember that a carer can be any age and there are many young people, from 7 to 18 years of age, who are carers. A carer is someone who provides unpaid care to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health condition, or who needs extra help as they grow older. The caring responsibility could be anything from doing everyday tasks to providing emotional support and companionship. Unpaid carers juggle work, education, children, and home life as well as their caring responsibility and this can be challenging, especially in the current Covid crisis.

With the increasing numbers of Covid 19 cases in the Bromsgrove District, can I please remind everyone of the need to get vaccinated; it is the only way we will prevent this virus from spreading.

Please feel free to contact me if you feel I can help with any issues. Stay Safe and Well.

Best wishes - KarenCllr Karen May - Mobile: 07818 085140 Email: kmay@worcestershire.gov.uk