Therese reflections on how her job as Member of Parliament for Suffolk Coastal has changed over the last 12-months.
"A year ago this week, the country locked down and our lives changed overnight. My continued thanks to NHS staff and all the frontline workers for looking after us and keeping the country moving over the last 12 months. For the rest of us, digital working became the new normal to stop the spread of infection.
That meant huge changes for me as a Member of Parliament. The fetes and other community events that I would have usually attended each weekend to meet and speak to people suddenly stopped. My annual constituency tour had to be cancelled and my regular surgeries went online. I haven’t seen my Parliamentary office team for over a year but the casework continues.
As a Cabinet Minister for the largest department in government and responsibility for the Health & Safety Executive, I’ve been flat out with DWP Ministerial work, ensuring support is in place for people that need it. Less travelling has given me more time for online meetings, checking in with our councils, hospitals, housing associations and businesses. But I really miss that human contact that meeting people gives all of us though and as someone that previously met lots of people that change in culture has been especially difficult.
Whilst some of our new ways of working will become embedded, like the convenience of Zoom calls, thanks to the successful vaccine rollout, I hope it won’t be too long before I’m experiencing a full House of Commons again and enjoying the many events across Suffolk Coastal. Visiting our hostelries and getting a haircut!"