There is nothing like Christmas to bring our communities together and this week, Camborne and Redruth have both been getting into the festive spirit with both towns turning on their Christmas lights last Saturday.
It is also the time of year when we start to think about sending Christmas cards. As in previous years, I ran a competition with local primary schools to design my Christmas card. We had over sixteen schools enter, which is a record, and local children really rose to the challenge with some fabulous artwork. The panel of judges had a difficult task as always.
This is also a good time of year to acknowledge some good news. Earlier this week I had the chance to catch up with the team at the Cornwall Air Ambulance who were attending an event at Westminster. They have just been awarded £1 million from the Libor banking fund which is a major boost to their fundraising for a new helicopter.
I can remember when the Cornwall Air Ambulance began in 1987. It was a great example of Cornwall's "one and all" approach because people in Cornwall really rallied behind the idea. It was the first air ambulance in the UK and now many other parts of the country have followed Cornwall's lead. Since 1987, it has completed more than 26,000 missions and saved many lives. It is a great initiative and I wish them every success in raising the funds that are still required to hit their target.
Last week I also had the chance to visit a new housing project run by the Addington Fund at Ruthvoes. Addington does excellent work providing homes for farmers who have had to leave their farm either due to hardship, retirement or ill health. They now have over eighty homes. For many farmers, leaving the farm and having to sell their herd or flock is an emotional wrench and they often find it hard to get alternative housing too. Having a specialist housing provider with people who really understand farmers is a life line for many.