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Monday, 1 October 2018

Speakers passionate about nature conservation and protecting the environment met campaigners at Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham. The panel included Government Champion on illegal wildlife trade conference, Zac Goldsmith MP. A long standing campaigner and member of Parliament continues to advocate to protect the environment. Goldsmith highlighted the important issue to discuss interventions and how climate change will impact us all globally. 

Parveen Hassan & Zac Goldsmith MP
The fringe event was organised by WWF, an independent organisation bringing together representatives from Government and business to discuss how the UK can lead international efforts to protect the environment. Chaired by Amy Mount, from Greener UK, the panel included Rebecca Pow MP, PPS to DEFRA. 

WWF discussions highlighted the importance in protecting freshwater environments. Freshwater is essential for our planet; people and wildlife. 

Since the Government policy to reduce plastic with a ban on microbeads in January 2018, damaging beads can cause serious harm to marine life. The UK’s ban praised by campaigners as one of the toughest in the world will help to stop billions of microbeads ending up in the ocean every year. 

There has been great interest in protecting our environment with the successful government policy on the 5p plastic bag charge, which has taken nine billion bags out of circulation.The ban puts the UK at the forefront of international efforts to tackle and reduce plastic pollution.

The panel reminded campaigners and the delegation on the need to restore nature post Brexit, and the vital resources to protect freshwater environments and tackle the mismanagement leading to pollution, drying rivers and damaged habitats. 

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Iqbal Ahmed OBE & Parveen Hassan 
On 23 July 2018, I attended an evening reception at the Houses of Parliament to learn more about Campaign Rohingya. Iqbal Ahmed OBE, founder of Iqbal Bros Foundation highlighted the charity work to raise further awareness of the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh since the visit to Bangladesh. 

The work of the Iqbal Bros Foundation was shared to members, the British Bangladeshi community, dignitaries, and parliamentarians. 

A wider range of speeches were delivered and case studies during the reception. 

Campaign Rohingya 
It was great to meet Iqbal Bros Foundation staff and founder. We were able to discuss many important issues facing the Rohingya. 

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Over the course of 2018, Conservative Women's Hub in the West Midlands will be carrying out a series of women training and network events to celebrate the centenary of women getting the vote. 

Pankhurst parties have taken place across the UK in July to commemorate the birthday of Emmeline Pankhurst and to mark this centenary of women's (limited) suffrage. 

Whilst we mark the special occasion, the campaign to raise awareness for women to stand in public life and a more gender balance in Parliament continues. 

The events will support women entering public life for the first time and raise awareness to women aspiring to become MPs, councillors and hold public appointments. 

Further details will be posted late summer. 

Parveen Hassan, Co chair Annual Fundraiser, Speaker: Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP 
Preparations are underway for Project Shapla 2019 as the Conservative Friends of Bangladesh group campaign continues to raise awareness of the social action areas  held in Bangladesh. The group champions the valuable role the British Bangladeshi community delivers with MP’s, and supporters from the Conservative voluntary party on campaigns across the UK. 

CFOB held the fundraiser to mark the successes of Project Shapla, the international social action project held in Bangladesh and the recent visit to see the Rohingya crisis with Conservative volunteers and Parliamentarians. Joined by CFOB Hon Vice Presidents Paul Scully MP and Bob Blackman MP. 

The formidable campaigning group, led by Chairman Mehfuz Ahmed, and his UK team of volunteers showcased its Bangladeshi grassroots activists and campaigners with an awards ceremony on its numerous campaigns and social action outcomes in education, sports and health.  

CFOB President Anne Main MP, Andrew Sharpe OBE, Parveen Hassan,
 Pamela Hall, Mehfuz Ahmed
I was delighted to co host the occasion with over 280 attendees. The event was proudly sponsored by Bangladeshi businesses, individual members and party volunteers. Speakers included Ministers Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, and Rt Hon Guy Opperman MP. They highlighted the efforts of the community and thanked supporters for their commitment to Britain and Bangladesh. MPs Tom Tugendhat MBE, Helen Grant MP, members of the voluntary party, and Chairman of the National Conservative Convention Andrew Sharpe OBE also presented speeches at the dinner with messages of support. 

Volunteering through social action is so important as we continue as a community to invest in Bangladesh through social investments and our charity work which is immense. 

Parveen Hassan and Tom Tugendhat MP
We also reiterate through our volunteering by raising awareness of the valuable contributions the British Bangladeshi community makes to the UK economy.

We collectively support Conservative associations and build our networks with a dedicated team of Bangladeshi volunteers, persistently helping the Bangladeshi community, and those unheard voices. As we build our connections, whilst showcasing our efforts on the Conservative values, and beliefs we strongly hold.

The campaign to raise awareness of the Rohingya crisis touched me deeply during the visit at Kutupalong refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar. Over 20 volunteers attended in September 2017 alongside parliamentarians. 

Andrew Sharpe OBE, Parveen Hassan, Pamela Hall,
Conservative Party
It was a remarkable evening to reflect on the successes both in Bangladesh and the UK.

We were very pleased by the generous support of members and guests who donated so kindly for Project Shapla 2019, in Bangladesh.

Helen Pankhurst, Wendy Morton MP, Parveen Hassan 
I was delighted to stand alongside Conservative female MPs, peers and volunteers  to commemorate the birthday of Emmeline Pankhurst and to mark this centenary of women's (limited) suffrage. 

The event took place where Emmeline Pankhurst's statue stands in Victoria Tower Gardens next to Parliament.

When Emmeline Pankhurst died in 1928 the Pankhurst family gave a legacy to the Conservative Women's Organisation (CWO) to lay a wreath in her honour in each year celebrating her life on her birthday, 15th of July. 

Conservative Women's Organisation members met on Wednesday 18th July, to mark the occasion with Emmeline Pankhurst’s great-granddaughter, and political activist Helen Pankhurst.

CWO Tradition- Wreath laying for Emmeline Pankhurst  

CWO national chairman Jules Iles, organised the wreath laying tradition. Conservative peer Baroness Anne Jenkin, a leading women’s advocate for the Conservative Party, and co Chair of Women2Win, leading the Conservative campaign to elect more women into Parliament, Wendy Morton MP, Caroline Spelman MP, Baroness Fiona Hodgson, Mim Davies MP, Rebecca Pow MP, Jo Churchill MP, Vicky Ford MP, Rebecca Harris MP, Caroline Dinenage MP were all in attendance. Over 30 women gathered. 
CWO Annual Wreath for Emmeline Pankhurst joined by Helen Pankhurst 

Whilst we mark the special occasion, the campaign to raise awareness for women to stand in public life and a more gender balance in Parliament continues. We are always looking for new women and ask her to stand. 

Sunday, 15 July 2018

I was delighted to organise the Birmingham Pankhurst Party, on 15 July 2018.

The Pankhurst Party was organised to commemorate the birthday of Emmeline Pankhurst and to mark this centenary of women's (limited) suffrage. 

The non political event, included a range of speakers with experiences in the field of politics, business and public appointments. The event was attended by women in the West Midlands region.

This year women across the UK wanted to share this honour. Many Pankhurst parties took place in London, Leeds and Coventry.

In this centenary of women's (limited) suffrage, we need more women to come forward to stand for public life such as councillors, school governors and MPs. I was delighted to speak about gender equality, and how to encourage BAME candidates to be involved in public life including mentoring and training.

If you know anyone who has the skills for public office, volunteering in the community, do get in touch. 

The #AskHerToStand campaign was started by 50:50 Parliament to ensure we raise awareness on the opportunities available to women and encourage others to enter public life.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

I was delighted to attend the Regional Business Support Showcase, powered by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) on 11 July 2018. The event was first of its kind in the region, created to support small businesses, and start-ups. 

Parveen Hassan & Andy Street West Midlands Mayor 
West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street CBE gave a speech on small businesses and how they drive the regional economic growth. 40 regional business support organisations and professionals participated. They highlighted information and support on products and services designed to help potential entrepreneurs achieve business goals.

Businesses and professionals included: Blue Sky Finance, CUE Business Solutions, and Business and Learning. There were opportunities for small businesses to apply for grants and funding to grow their business.

The West Midlands is the engine of our thriving economy. On the 18 July,  I was pleased to hear the multi-million pound deal to boost skills across the West Midlands announced by 
the Education Secretary.
Parveen Hassan & West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street 

This skills deal will unlock up to £69 million, boosting digital and technical skills, job opportunities and productivity across the region.

The deal will create hundreds of new apprenticeships in SMEs, provide multi-million pound investment in local colleges and develop a pilot scheme to drive adult learning and retraining.

Building on the work already underway through the modern Industrial Strategy, this deal will help drive local growth and boost productivity across the West Midlands region.