This week MP Neil Carmichael visited a charity which helps children who are deaf

THIS week I had the pleasure of visiting Auditory Verbal UK, a charity based in London but which is developing a national network to help parents and carers deal with deafness in children.

The concept revolves around early diagnosis of deafness coupled to the recognition that hearing is, essentially, a process in the brain. Children learn to listen and talk through play and interactions with family and friends. The results are incredibly encouraging.

I am completely deaf in my left ear so, with my own experience, I am always keen to support people with hearing difficulties. Auditory Verbal has helped many children to overcome being completely deaf and, instead, become fully engaged in social and family life. The charity has a strong sense of mission and purpose; it has my full support.

Another great pleasure was to visit the newly opened Jet Age Museum to help launch the new Educational Programme. Gloucestershire played a huge part in developing jet propulsion and jet aeroplanes; many factories across the Valleys and Vale contributed to this inspiring story. Festomane – the annual Festival of Manufacturing and Engineering – celebrates our industrial heritage and jet engines are very much part of it.

I was delighted to meet Air Vice Marshall Tony Mason, now a Deputy Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, during the launch ceremony. He has written a number of influential books about air strategy and policy – being one of the first to recognise the need for a modern concept of air power. As a student I was and still remain interested in these matters.

Another fabulous event was the launch of Cool Earth’s campaign to save the rainforest in Papua New Guinea. Climate change is happening so we must act now to arrest it and protect the environment. It was good to see one of my fellow Select Committee chairmen, Frank Field, playing such a strong part in the proceedings alongside Pamela Anderson – formally of Baywatch – who is a powerful supporter of this campaign.

Next week is the Conservative Party Conference so I will be reporting back on the various meetings and events in connection with education, Europe and the economy.