The second week of September signalled the return to Westminster’s ways for South Cambridgeshire’s Heidi Allen as Parliament returned from its summer recess.
In the weeks leading up to the return, Heidi found herself walking the wards at Addenbrooke’s, on the beat with Cambridgeshire’s finest, out with paramedics as an Ambulance observer and settling down for a cup of tea with a truly amazing constituent.
Keen to experience the daily work of the staff at Addenbrooke’s hospital Heidi visited on a number of occasions. She spent an afternoon with nurses on wards caring for the elderly and at the other end of the spectrum, joined consultants on a Friday evening in A&E and intensive care. A shift with paramedics helped Heidi to understand how the services interact and the conflicting pressures they face.
Friday 21 August was a night to remember for Heidi as she made the move from the wards to the cells, out and about with Cambridgeshire constabulary. Experiencing the custody suite at Parkside station towards the end of the shift Heidi had a window into the world that many of us fortunately never have to look through. Speaking afterwards, Heidi said “I was truly humbled by the work that our emergency services do. I saw things I never thought I would, and frankly I take my hat off to our police, paramedics and doctors and nurses. I couldn’t do what they do, and they deserve our utmost respect. Real life heroes; all I can say is thank you.”
On Friday 4 September a very special constituent of Heidi’s celebrated his 97th Birthday. Heidi had the pleasure of being invited to tea with the birthday boy himself, the remarkable Frank Burton.
One of only a handful of survivors from the first naval battle of WW2, Battle of the River Plate, Frank and Heidi enjoyed a cup of tea and a biscuit while Frank reminisced about his days in the navy, and more importantly his prize winning vegetables.
Describing her meeting with Frank as one of the best parts of her job, an honour, and the least Heidi could do to say thank you for Frank’s kind messages before and after the election.
The first week back was also the chance for a first visit to Parliament for some of Heidi’s younger constituents. Pupils from Newton Community Primary School had the chance to go on a tour of the Houses of Parliament and meet Heidi. Who knows, some might return as MPs one day!