Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Order your Freshers Pack Today!

Well done to all of the CF branches who have ordered their packs already but there are still some outstanding. 

Remember that fresher's season is nearly upon us and we have a vital role to play in recruiting as many new members, supporters and activists as possible.

Let's all aim to beat last years joining figure!

If you have not already done so then please order your pack via the link below and remember that if your CF branch has already sent in their membership data then they will not be charged for the pack. 

Click here to order yours now

Read more on the CF website here

Thursday, 25 August 2011

New CF Website

After several months of planning and building the National Executive of Conservative Future is proud to announce a new-improved website- have a look here

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Charles & Camilla Visit Croydon

Yesterday, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall cut their summer holiday short in Scotland to visit Croydon in the aftermath of the riots.

Their visit came as it was announced by the government that they would give £20m of investment to Croydon, kick-starting economic growth and regeneration. It is estimated that over 200 businesses were affected by the riots in Croydon so this investment has been well received by local residents and community leaders.

Charles and Camilla walked along London Road and met local residents and business owners who had lost their homes and businesses because of the riots. They were greeted with cheers and local residents described the couple as ‘kind and concerned.’
After a day of visiting areas in London that had been affected by the riots, the price spoke frankly about the problem of gang culture saying: "I still think half the problem is that people join gangs because it is a cry for help, the fact they're looking for a framework, a sense of belonging, and a meaning.

"What's been so lacking is that sort of opportunity to allow people to be motivated and encouraged, and frankly exhausted because that's what you really want at that age."

Monday, 15 August 2011

Mending Our Broken Society Together

Today from a youth centre in Witney, the Prime Minister addressed the nation about last week’s rioting across England and concluded by stating: “The restoration of responsibility has to cut right across our society. Because whatever the arguments, we all belong to the same society and we all have a stake in making it better. There is no ‘them’ and ‘us’- there is us. We are all in this together and we will mend our broken society- together.”

David Cameron gave a passionate speech where he pledged that the government would “turn around the lives of the 120,000 most troubled families” by 2015. He said that all future domestic policies would be subject to a “family test” so that they do not encourage family breakdown as many rioters had grown up without fathers or male role models.

He reminded us of the plans to have school leavers take part in a National Citizen Service where young people spend time volunteering in hospitals and community centres.

He announced that the government would accelerate the plans for free schools and city academies as “an education system is needed that reinforces the message that if you do the wrong thing you’ll be disciplined, but if you work hard and play by the rules then you’ll succeed.”

He also made reference to Croydon: “I’ll never forget talking to Maurice Reeves, whose family had run the Reeves furniture store in Croydon for generations. This was an 80 years old man who had seen the business he had loved, that his family had built up for generations, simply destroyed. A hundred years of hard work, burned to the ground in a few hours.”

Social problems have been festering for decades in our society and last weeks riots were a wake-up call for our country. We need to be determined to change attitudes and behavior if we want to turn our country around and this morning Cameron gave a stellar performance as he spoke passionately about how we will solve these problems together.

To read a full transcript of his speech please click here 

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Cameron gets tough

From the Conservative Party's bulletin:

"People should be in no doubt, we will do everything necessary to restore order to Britain's streets and to make them safe for law abiding citizens. We completely condemn the scenes that we have seen on our television screens and in our communities. These are sickening scenes. This is criminality pure and simple. It has to be confronted and defeated. We are on the side of the law abiding people who are appalled by what has happens in their own communities. We needed a fight back - and a fight back is underway.

Police officers have shown incredible bravery confronting the thugs. Since yesterday there are more police on the street. More people have been arrested. And more people are being charged and prosecuted. Last night there were around 16,000 police on the streets of London, and there is evidence that a more robust approach to policing in London resulted in a much quieter night across the capital. But there is absolutely no room for complacency and there is much more to be done. Full contingency planning is going ahead. Whatever resources the police need - they will get. Whatever tactics the police feel they need to employ - they will have legal backing to do so. We will do whatever is necessary to restore law and order onto our streets.

We have a very clear message for those who are responsible for this wrongdoing and criminality - you will feel the full force of the law. If you are old enough to commit these crimes, you are old enough to face the punishment. Today major police operations are underway to arrest the criminals who were not picked up last night but who were picked up on CCTV. Picture by picture these criminals are being identified and arrested.

The root cause of this mindless selfishness is a complete lack of responsibility in parts of our society: people allowed to feel that the world owes them something, that their rights outweigh their responsibilities, and that their actions do not have consequences. Well they do have consequences. We are determined to restore a stronger sense of responsibility across our society.

Tomorrow Cobra will meet again and the Cabinet will meet. The Prime Minister will make a statement to parliament. But today right now the priority is still clear. We will take every action necessary to bring order back to our streets."

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

People Power Helps Croydon Clean Up

Despite the waves of negative press coverage and violence that have engulfed our town over the last 24 hours, the volunteer response from local families and even children has been truly heart-warming. Local community leaders like Gavin Barwell are using social media sites to coordinate the team clean ups which have so far received a huge turnout and warm response from the public.
Already progress is underway to clean up the town centre in a process that could take several days. Let’s prove to the rioters that whatever they try and destroy, we will rebuild and show them that their senseless actions will never get the better of us. Once again, we should extend our thanks and to our brave emergency services and support the victims of this carnage like the Reeves family to show we are united against mob rule.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Zero Tolerance for the Thugs who Tried and Failed to Destroy Croydon

Listening to grieving shop owners telling reporters on Sky News about being forced to watch mindless thugs loot, destroy and burn their family businesses to the ground was a heartbreaking experience. You have to wonder what kind of people would cause such destruction, and take so much pleasure in the suffering of innocent people. Today our wonderful town was attacked by a handful of disgusting thugs who saw it their duty to terrify residents, throw rocks at Police and set fire to historical buildings – some of them over 100 years old.

It’s clear in this scenario that these people cannot be reasoned with. They do not understand or care for the welfare of others. If anything, the destruction of other people’s livelihoods is there only vocation, as unlike most people they do not get out of bed to go to work. Hopefully, they will be severely punished for the harm they have caused our town and will have chance to reflect on their actions behind bars in a cold, damp prison cell for a lengthy period of time.

A photo taken by a friend who lives opposite Reeves Corner
Croydon’s residents will rise up from the ashes of today’s mindless riots and get our town back on track. But for the local shops and terrified victims who have lost their homes it will be a long time before they can even begin to get over the devastation.

Today, mindless thugs tried and failed to destroy our town. Now it’s up to our community to pull together and help the victims of this carnage to rebuild their lives.  

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Please support our appeal for Birch Memorial School in Makeni, Sierra Leone

Me teaching chemistry to my class
I was very proud to take part in this year’s Project Umubano schools programme in Sierra Leone.  It was my first time in the country and although I had read about the numerous challenges it faced, the first hand experience as a volunteer gave me a real insight into the huge scale of hardship and suffering still burdening its people. This experience also showed me the huge difference a project like Umubano can make to people’s lives.

This year Umubano in Sierra Leone expanded to include a community element through a partnership with Street Child of Sierra Leone (SCoSL) where I was part of a group of 10 volunteers who taught at a summerschool in Makeni.

When our group first arrived at the children’s centre in Makeni, we were delighted to be greeted by 150 children who welcomed us by singing us a song. A few of them then stood up to carry out a role play that aimed to explain why they were living on the streets. Many of the street children are orphans, having lost their parents during the war and over 50 per cent of the girls are forced to work as prostitutes in order to survive. Life threatening disease is common- especially Malaria, which is the country’s biggest killer, as the people cannot afford to buy a mosquito net or long trousers or tops to protect them.

Umubano volunteers with the street children

Every day is a struggle for survival and families and their children have limited means. They have no material possessions and wear the same clothes, donated by charities, day in and day out. On the streets the people lack access to clean water, so catching diseases is common and oftenfatal. There is also a shortage of community role models, as every adult who has been in their life has either let them down or has died due to war, famine or disease.

However the children of Sierra Leone have the same hopes and dreams that Umubano is helping come true.

On my first day teaching, I discussed with the children what they wanted to be when they grew up, and what they hoped their life would bring.

Becoming President of Sierra Leone was a popular career choice as many of the children wanted to correct the wrongs of the country and improve living standards for all residents. Other popular career choices included becoming a lawyer or a teacher, as these professions were considered respectable amongst their peers.

For too long these children have been the forgotten voices of Sierra Leone and SCoSL aims to ensure that they can get their dignity back by giving them an education, three meals a day and access to clean water.

The Umubano team with Stephen O'Brien MP and Tom Dannatt- founder of SCoSL

The 150 children that we met were all enrolled on an 18 month programme that aimed to send them back to school and eventually, to their families. In cases where there are no families around to look after the children then a foster family is found for them.

As Umubano volunteers we threw ourselves into the programme and by day two were teaching classes of up to 70 students, with no resources in maths, English language, geography, history and science. I was teaching students science who had been out of school for up two years but who had the same intelligence as children starting their GCSEs in the UK. It was daunting to say the least to be surrounded by such bright and promising children!

As we taught the lessons, I was overwhelmed at the warmth and love the children showed for us, despite everything they had against them.

This group of children contained the most courageous, strong and brave group of people that I had ever met. Every day I would hold another child’s hand and listen to the unimaginable horrors of their life that no one should ever be allowed to endure.

 It was amazing to hear story after story as to why they had ended up on the streets, the hardships they faced and yet despite all of this they had such a strong enthusiasm and desire to learn. Their thirst for knowledge was impressive but even more so given their situation and the challenges that they faced.

As I rested on the plane ride home, I was still coming to terms with the overwhelming experiences and inspirations I had seen over the last two weeks. Whilst I was lucky enough to be flying safely back to my home, my family and daily routine, I was acutely aware that this is a luxury that the children in the school still do not have. Hopefully, with inspirational projects like Umubano, one day these dreams will become a reality for the children of Sierra Leone.

On my last day I made a promise to Mr Shekuba Sessay, the Principal of Birch Memorial Secondary School in Makeni that I would send him items that the school needs. Items such as exercise books, pens, pencils, rulers, chalk and text books are considered luxuries in Sierra Leone- even though in the UK a teacher would not attempt to start a lesson without them!

The start of term is September 15th and I am appealing to everyone to help me in this venture. If you can donate anything then please contact me at: I am aiming to send out a shipment by the end of August so that it reaches the school in time for the new term.