WWG – Talk from Hope Virgo on Eating Disorders

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Thursday 20th January at 2pm

Hope Virgo is an Author, Founder of #DumpThe Scales Campaign and a multi award winning international leading advocate for people with eating disorders as well as being a recognised media spokesperson, having appeared on various platforms including BBC Newsnight, Victoria Derbyshire, Good Morning Britain, Sky News and BBC News.

For four years, Hope managed to keep her eating disorder hidden, keeping dark secrets from friends and family. But then, on 17th November 2007, Hope’s world changed forever. She was admitted to a mental health hospital. Her skin was yellowing, her heart was failing, she was barely recognizable. Forced to leave her family and friends, the hospital became her home. Over the next year, at her lowest ebb, Hope faced the biggest challenge of her life. She had to find the courage to beat her anorexia.

In today’s session you will hear a harrowing but inspiring story of recovery, get practical advice on how to manage your wellbeing and know how to talk to those around you who may be impacted by eating disorders.  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hopevirgo_/?hl=en

To register for this event, please email mpsstaff-wwg@parliament.uk

Vote Office: Training for Members’ Staff

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Members’ staff are invited to learn more about the Vote Office and the services it offers to support their work.

The Vote Office is hosting the following sessions for Members’ staff in the coming months:

  • Introduction to the Vote Office (Monday 21 February, 13:00-13:40)
  • Navigating Parliamentary Papers (Friday 20 May, 10:00-10:40)

To sign up for either or both sessions, please email vote_office@parliament.uk. Full details are below.

Introduction to the Vote Office

Monday 21 February 2022, 13:00 – 13:40

Virtual, MS Teams
Contact: x3631, vote_office@parliament.uk

This virtual session will provide an overview of the Vote Office and the services we offer to support Members’ staff and offices in their work.

Both Westminster and constituency-based staff are welcome. The session is suitable for anyone who has recently joined a Member’s office or would like a refresher on our services.

The session covers:

  • The role of the Vote Office
  • How we assist Members’ Staff with research, casework and understanding parliamentary business
  • The Vote Office’s digital services and delivery service for staff working remotely.

The session will last 30 minutes, with an additional 10-minute Q&A.

Navigating Parliamentary Papers

Friday 20 May 2022, 10:00 – 10:40

Virtual, MS Teams
Contact: x3631, vote_office@parliament.uk

This workshop will go into greater detail on a range of parliamentary papers available in the Vote Office, walk through their format, and explain their relevance to Chamber business.

Both Westminster and constituency-based staff are welcome.  The session is suitable for new staff who need an understanding of business papers in their role, or those who would like to enhance their knowledge.

The session includes:

  • A full walkthrough of the Order Paper and the Vote bundle
  • An explanation of Bills, amendment papers and other associated documents that the Vote Office provides
  • Details of other laid papers and publications that are available in the Vote Office.

The session will last 30 minutes, with an additional 10-minute Q&A.

For more information and to sign up to these sessions, please email vote_office@parliament.uk.

DVLA Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

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The DVLA is experiencing delays with paper applications owing to a large number of enquiries and also staffing issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, MPs offices have received a lot of complaints from constituents worried about their applications and whether or not they are still permitted to drive whilst they are waiting for them to be processed.

The DVLA has a useful page which shows their processing times and contains information about eligibility to drive here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/dvla-coronavirus-covid-19-update This page is updated weekly.

MPs have access to a hotline, the details of which can be found on the Hotlines List on the intranet. Further information here: https://w4mp.org/w4mp/w4mp/hotline-numbers-for-mps-meps-msps-ams-and-their-staff/

East Region Roadshow

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Calling all Office Managers in the East Region.

MST is hosting the launch event for the roadshow on Teams on 25 January at 13.30.

Its super important that as many people as possible come from this region to vote for what they would like at the roadshow.

Everyone has been emailed an invitation, so if you could help to encourage people to come along, including your teams, it would be appreciated.

Forthcoming HOC Library Talks

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The Commons Library is running a series of weekly talks starting 13th January covering topical issues, constituency casework, and statistics.

Their expert staff will cover:

and more.

There are also talks from the National Audit Office (NAO) on

You can browse and book all upcoming talks and watch previous talks on Act. Any questions please email hclibrary@parliament.uk

Important – have you completed the update to the latest version of Windows 10 yet?

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If you have a parliamentary PC or laptop which has the Windows 10 operating system, you must update to the latest version of Windows 10 as soon as possible.

Go to the Software Center on your computer (click in the search box and type in ‘software center’ and it will find it for you.) Then click on ‘Operating Systems’ in the left menu and then click on the update in the main window.

The update process is very simple, but takes around three hours. Your computer can be left unattended once it has properly started, so it might be best to set it running at the end of your work day.

The deadline for completing the update is 25 February 2022. Please contact the support desk (0207 219 2001) if you are unable to get into your offices to update your computers.

Working Mind Six Week Online Mindfulness Course – starts 20 January

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As we approach the new year, many of us will be looking ahead at the next 12 months, setting new year’s resolutions, and vowing to make positive changes in our lives. This new year, why not resolve to be more mindful for 2022?

Mindfulness promotes resilience and wellbeing. It can help us to manage change and uncertainty, which will be particularly valuable as we navigate the unknowns of the new year.

We invite you to take part in the Working Mind six-week mindfulness course, open to members’ staff of either House. Sessions will take place every Thursday 12-1pm from 20 January to 24 February. Book your place via ACTor email PHWS@parliament.uk

The six-week course is an opportunity to experience the principles and practices of mindfulness, and explore how mindfulness can help you thrive inside and outside of the workplace. The course will be delivered by Awaris and will take place online via Zoom.

Not sure if mindfulness is for you? A Mindfulness Taster session will take place on Wednesday 12 January, 9.30-10am. This workshop will introduce you to mindfulness as a way of reclaiming your attention and developing greater focus, clarity and wellbeing. It is suitable both as a stand-alone session, and as a taster for those interested in signing up for one of our longer mindfulness courses. Book your place.

For further details about the mindfulness course, please email PHWS@parliament.uk

Managing your Money Worries Webinar -18 January

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At this time of year, it is not unusual for many of us to experience financial anxiety or the “January blues”. After all, our spending often goes up during the festive season which can lead to increased financial pressures in the new year. Our finances underpin most areas of our lives and money problems can cause serious issues— even affecting our mental health…

Join us for a financial wellbeing workshop on Tuesday 18 January, 2-3pm. Book your place on the Health & Wellbeing learning hub on ACT or email PHWS@parliament.uk

The session will offer expert, non-judgemental advice on how to manage your money worries. You will learn how financial wellbeing and mental wellbeing are linked—and how to improve both in one fell swoop. The session will also cover:

  • Key facts behind financial wellbeing, and the ways they affect our mental health
  • The emotional impact of money worries, as well as the physical toll
  • Practical tips and advice on managing money, using credit wisely, and being financially aware

The session will be delivered by Joy Whitehead from Health Assured, our EAP provider. If you have any questions about the session email PHWS@parliament.uk

Laughter Workshop – Monday 17 January

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Laugh away the January Blues with a laughter workshop, hosted by Lotte Mikkelsen.

You have probably heard the saying that “laughter is the best medicine” – but its more than an old wives tale – laughing can really benefit your health and wellbeing. By laughing we release natural feel-good chemicals into our body, which lower our stress levels and put us in a much more positive frame of mind.

Join us for a laughter workshop on Monday 17 January, 12-12.30pm. You are guaranteed to leave the session feeling reenergised and ready to take on Blue Monday with a smile!  Book your place on the H&W learning hub or email PHWS@parliament.uk

The session will be hosted by Lotte Mikklesen, leading laughter yoga expert. Lotte has worked with clients such as Google, Barclays and the NHS, and has also featured several times on ITV