02/08/18: Grass Roots Sport

Every now and then a sporting Champion emerges with a humility that belies their achievement. I'd include people like Sir Andy Murray, Sir Steve Redgrave and Dame Kelly Holmes in that category; people whose immediate thoughts are for those who brought them to the top of the world from games, sports and activities in childhood.

And so it was again on Sunday with Geraint Thomas, the victor of arguably the world's toughest cycling challenge, the Tour De France. Even in his moment of glory, he took the time to thank his first cycling club (at the age of 10), the Maindy Flyers, which he still visits regularly to give something back.

His words on the Champs Elysees were an inspiration as Geraint reiterated the importance of believing in your dreams, working hard and staying resilient. He resonated with so many of us who know how success in sport generates self-esteem and confidence, something that has certainly helped me throughout my life.

In Maidstone and the Weald we are blessed with some fantastic clubs where people of all ages can experience playing sport, be it just for fun or to chase a dream; click here for just a few of them.

These organisations, and the volunteers who are their beating heart, play a crucial role in society and our communities and for this reason we must do more than offer recognition and thanks. We must back them with investment, particularly in facilities, to allow our grass roots volunteers to continue to deliver the opportunities that sport provides to all who want it.

There are several pots of money out there to help with grass roots sport funding, some large, and some less so. If I can be of assistance with any applications, through letters of support or making other representations, please write to me or make a surgery appointment. I'm always ready to help: helen.grant.mp@parliament.uk.

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Helen's column is published weekly in the Kent Messenger. Please note the print version may differ from the content here.


Launch of flood management 'wetlands' project in Marden


Louise Smith from KCC, Farmer Peter Hall, Helen Grant MP, KCC Councillor Mike Hill and Julie Foley of the Environment Agency

A great step forward was taken for Medway River flood management at the launch of the Little Mill Farm wetlands project in Marden last weekend.

It is the fruit of an idea hatched by local farmer and land owner Peter Hall to harness natural processes to reduce flood risk further downstream. Measures include the use of 'intentionally leaky' small wooden dams to hold back water and slow the flow, the creation of temporary flood water storage areas and restoring river channels and natural meanders.

The project was supported and delivered by a wide range of stakeholders including the Environment Agency, Kent County Council, and Maidstone Borough Council.

Local MP Helen Grant has followed the progress of the project from its inception in November 2016 to the official launch this weekend. She said 'This is 'partnership working' at its best, with stakeholders all contributing resources and expertise to deliver a meaningful benefit for the community. I thank Peter Hall in particular for offering the use of four acres of his land for the 13,000 cubic metre Wetlands project and coming up with the vision. It is a great bonus for birds and other wildlife in the locality too'.

The launch event was designed to promote the idea to other local landowners and organisations who may take up grants for the idea with suitable land of their own. Over 50 people attended.


22 JUL 2018

Maidstone Mela 2018 remembers the passing of its founding father as MP Helen Grant calls for Borough Council support in coming years

The Maidstone Mela has been running since 2003 and was the brainchild of the late Cllr Morel D'Souza who passed away in April this year. His legacy was remembered at the event where a commemorative plaque was presented to Mr D'Souza's wife, Karin, in front...


20 JUL 2018

Helen Delves into the Den

Helen Grant MP paid a visit to the National Citizen Service project in Maidstone Town Centre last week. NCS is a nationwide programme for 15 to 17 year olds, which aims to build the confidence and self-belief of young people by providing them with...


20 JUL 2018

Helen Backs Playground Campaign

Helen Grant, Member of Parliament for Maidstone and the Weald, has thrown her support behind a campaign to win a new playground for a local Primary School. On a visit to Valley Invicta Primary at East Borough, Helen met with staff and students and pledged...



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HELEN GRANT MP

Helen's column

02 AUG 2018

Grass Roots Sport

Every now and then a sporting Champion emerges with a humility that belies their achievement. I'd include people like Sir Andy Murray, Sir Steve Redgrave and Dame Kelly Holmes in that category;...


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Plastic Pollution

Ever since last year's Blue Planet series, which so movingly and graphically depicted the impact that plastic is having on our oceans, the issue has never been far from the news agenda. There is no...


20 JUL 2018

Post Brexit Trade

Back in 2005 I spent two weeks travelling around India developing new international business for my UK legal practice. It was a somewhat daunting step into the unknown, having never been to India...