Gillian's Column of the Week
Chichester, Sussex - For the Chichester Observer, Monday 29 January, 2024
Great news for the people of Chichester!


Being from Liverpool, football is in my blood.

So, when I was invited to open Chichester City Football Club’s new 3G pitch alongside my friend and colleague, Stuart Andrew, the Minister for Sport, I knew it was an opportunity not to be missed.

The new state-of-the-art pitch is one of over a thousand grassroots projects across the country to receive funding from the Football Foundation and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. This forms part of the Government’s wider ambition for us all to become more active, with over £300 million pledged as part of their multi-sport facilities programme.

This plan has been long in the making. I have been working with the District Council on funding approaches for the pitch since before the pandemic and I was so pleased to see all our efforts come to fruition.

The new pitch will not only be used by Chichester City Football Club, but teams from Chichester University, Chichester City Youth Football Club, and Albion in the Community. Charities will also be guaranteed access, with Stone Pillow, Solent Sport and Think 18 among the many wonderful third sector partners who will now be able to play on the pitch.

In total, this amounts to over 120 individuals who will play football at least once a month for the majority of the year. The pitch will also help in supporting the integration of refugees and asylum seekers within our community through United Nations FC – a team set up by Sanctuary for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

Gillian signs the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment
Last week’s positive local news was of course tinged with moments of reflection as we marked Holocaust Memorial Day.

On Saturday night I attended Women Who Resisted at the Minerva Theatre. The show told the stories of the many forgotten women who played their part in resisting the Nazis to save the lives of the many innocents murdered during the Holocaust.

I have always been clear, both as your MP and as the Secretary of State for Education, that we must ensure that as memories of the Holocaust fade, the lessons do not.

I’d like to thank all in our community who are working to educate people today and ensure that when we say ‘never again’, we mean it