Amongst the Saturday showers, it was a pleasure and an honour to cut the ribbon, opening the Fayre at Gifford House, Care for Veterans. Predecessors with the scissors included Dame Vera Lynn and the Princess Alexandra.
The much-loved Hospital Home, the south coast equivalent of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, is a modern place. Founded over 100 years ago in 1919, it overlaps healthcare and social services. There are services and care for people with physical disabilities and complex needs. Many residents have served in our country’s armed forces.
The House, the Home can lead the field with physical and every kind of care for disabled people, without the inevitable constraints that are found sometimes within the public sector. Its history records the dedication of three women. Three years after the inspiration of Lady Ripon, a lady companion to Queen Alexandra, to provide care and rehabilitation after the Great War, her daughter Lady Juliet Duff and Verena Hay established the charity in Roehampton, before coming to Worthing in 1933. Their compassion, campaigning and dedication made a difference for those returning from war with life-changing disabilities.
An early resident’s words: “It’s a grand thing to be welcomed to a lovely place like this. Everything here is magnificent . . they make no fuss about rules and regulations . . .behave yourself and do practically as you please is the regime. I had been taking medicine 3-4 times a day for seven years but today the doctor told me I could knock it off!”
The hundreds present helped to raise £7,000 towards the £1,500,000 required each year to continue the great life of the Home today.
Across the boundary between Arun and Worthing, I also enjoyed and supported the Ferring Festival. Music, food and drink, the lovely paintings in the Baptist church and the WI stalls at the Village Hall: every part combined to continue the Ferring tradition of purposeful community activity.
Ferring is one of the many places where people active in alternative political parties combine happily for campaigns of local importance.
There are times when some of my parliamentary colleagues could show they know it is right to do the same. There were touchy remarks during the Commons debate on the limits to legitimate concerns during the Privileges Committee review of the Boris Johnson gatherings in Downing Street. I spoke briefly to encourage others to read the report that defined what was not acceptable and what was.
I had served on the old Standards and Privileges Committee, before resigning on principle because I disapproved of the way House authorities treated the Commissioner Elizabeth Filkin. Members of the present committee were deliberately targeted by a new undemocratic group that failed to recognise unity does not require unanimity.
On Tuesday following the Commons debate on Illegal Migration, I supported the government on many votes, abstained on a few and voted for some of the Lords amendments.
Tim Loughton and I visited leaders of the local Islamic Society. We support their ambition to agree a site for a new Mosque in west Worthing.
Andrew Griffith has been the power behind the Sussex Export gathering at Wiston where there were impressive presentations by major county businesses, including the hydrogen hub at Shoreham.
This week at Goring by Sea, World of Books is recognised with the Royal Award for Enterprise for recycling and reusing second-hand books. I am proud to have followed their progress and development over the years. Predictions of the death of books were wrong. The internet makes it possible to source an old book that is of interest today.
As the NHS reaches 75, campaigners gave me briefing on the spiralling costs of medicines that can help end the scourge of HIV and AIDS. Also, I gained from the reception by Age UK when they reported on health and care for older people. Self help was the point of the report by the Alcohol Health Alliance about action on alcohol harm.