North Hykeham

A young girl from near Sleaford who won a local Christmas card competition held by her MP has had her work praised and signed by the Prime Minister.

Sleaford and North Hykeham MP Dr Caroline Johnson asked local school pupils in her constituency to submit designs for the front of her annual Christmas card, with the winner getting an extra special prize.

Emily from Ancaster was selected as the winner of the competition, thanks to her design which featured a festive snowy scene outside the Houses of Parliament, with Santa and his reindeer flying above.

Emily from Ancaster was the winner of the competition, and her work was shown to Boris Johnson himself. | Photo: Dr Caroline Johnson

Her card was hand delivered by Caroline Johnson MP to the Prime Minister himself Boris Johnson, who was said to be very impressed with the work Emily had done.

The PM signed the card before returning it to Emily, while other copies of the cards, which have Emily’s name printed on the back, will be sent to other MPs, school headteachers and residents across the Sleaford & North Hykeham constituency on behalf of local MP Caroline Johnson.

Commenting, Dr Johnson said: “Well done to Emily who was the winner of my Christmas card competition this year. She designed a beautiful festive scene outside the Houses of Parliament, and, like the Prime Minister, I was impressed by the level of detail in her drawing.

“I always enjoy my annual Christmas card competition and thank the children who take part every year as there are always some lovely and imaginative designs.”

A local community group in Hykeham are spreading festive cheer with a Santa sleigh tour of the area throughout December, raising money for charity in the process.

Hykeham Lions are a community group established in 1989, and each December they dedicate a few nights to making sure the children of North and South Hykeham get the chance to meet Santa from their neighbourhood.

This year, the group has arranged another Santa sleigh tour of the surrounding villages, running from December 6 to December 18, all in aid of good local causes.

Santa’s helpers will be on board with Father Christmas carrying collection buckets for cash donations, as well as having the facilities to take contactless donations.

Hykeham Lions is offering children the chance to meet Father Christmas. | Photo: Hykeham Lions

The sleigh will be stopping off at the likes of Brant Road in Lincoln, The Forum on Newark Road and Witham St Hughs on the near two-week long tour.

Over the course of 2021, Hykeham Lions has helped provide funding for educational projects in local schools, provided outdoor play equipment, donated to Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance and Blood Bikes, and helped numerous local businesses.

A spokesperson for Hykeham Lions said: “We are always on the look out to support local causes so feel free to contact us with suggestions through the website contact details. As well as Hykeham, we cover Witham, Thorpe and the cliff villages as far as Navenby.”

To donate to the Christmas sleigh appeal, which currently stands at £215 at the time of reporting, visit the Hykeham Lions website, where you can also see details of routes and timings for the sleigh tour.

A Lincolnshire MP has called on the government to do more for dental care access in the county, pitching the idea of a local dental school to attract more work in the sector.

Dr Caroline Johnson, Conservative MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, first spoke in the House of Commons on the issue of dental care provision in her constituency back in October, saying the lack of NHS dental access is causing real problems in the county.

Recent figures show that just 41% of adults in Lincolnshire have accessed NHS dental care in the past two years, and less than a third of children have in the last year.

It comes as access continues to be more limited in the county, going from having three full-time consultants in orthodontics, based at Grantham, Boston and Lincoln, to having just one permanent consultant two days a week in Lincoln.

Following on from the Commons debate, Dr Johnson met with the minister for patient safety and primary care, Maria Caulfield, to further discuss the lack of access to NHS dentistry in Lincolnshire.

She detailed the struggles of her constituents in finding adequate care, and stated that more needs to be done to attract more dentists into work.

This prompted calls for a dedicated dental school in Lincolnshire (the closest ones are in Sheffield, Leeds and Leicester), which will also be discussed with Health Education England in the near future.

The MP’s suggestions were to boost training and skills opportunities for young, budding dentists, but creating the dental school as part of the newly built Lincoln Medical School at the University of Lincoln.

The new Lincoln Medical School will be the most environmentally-friendly uni building in Lincoln. | Photo: Shradha Mishra

Within her arguments in the commons, Dr Johnson said that Lincolnshire has no specialist services either in paediatrics or restorative dentistry, meaning patients have to travel out of the county for more expert help in their time of need.

Dr Caroline Johnson, Member of Parliament for Sleaford and North Hykeham said: “I believe that it is vital to ensure we have good provision of NHS dental care, which is something many of my constituents contact me about.

“Following my positive meeting with the Minister on this important topic, I will be speaking to Health Education England, Ministers and the relevant universities about my suggestion for a Lincolnshire dental school and I will assist them in their full report to analyse the feasibility and costings.

“Although these are early steps in discussions, it is my intention to campaign actively for a dental school in Lincolnshire as it is well-known that you stay where you train and I therefore consider this to be the best long-term solution for our county.”

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