DURING the last few weeks in Parliament all eyes were focused on the Chancellor and his budget for the next financial year.

With so many great campaigns and causes fighting for increased funding, I have had the opportunity to speak to a large number of these and hear about their fantastic campaigns and future plans.

One such group I have been working with is Crisis, the homelessness charity, as one of my key areas of focus since being elected in 2015 has been tackling the issue of homelessness which tragically cuts short the opportunities and life chances of so many people, not just here in Wiltshire but across the whole of the country.

I wrote here a couple of months ago about the need to help those without a home but working hard to regain control of their lives into private rented accommodation, but that tragically just as someone fights to get their life back on track impossible barriers are placed before them.

I am therefore thrilled that the Government has agreed to fund a £20m fund to support homeless people into rented accommodation through providing guarantees and support with deposits. We hear so much about the headline changes to stamp duty and additional money for Brexit planning but the comparatively smaller amount for homeless support is just as important, as it is going to change so many lives and empower people so often without hope to regain control of their lives and get back on track to a better future.

This is what drives me as an MP, fighting for the small changes which will make such a big difference to those who need it and empowering people out of poverty and encouraging social mobility.

Another key area of focus since my becoming an MP has been on bridging the skills gap in science and engineering, which is preventing businesses here in Wiltshire and across the whole country from employing local people and achieving great economic growth.

I was delighted to hear of the increase in education funding to be made available for maths and computing, both key subjects for ensuring that the UK is fit to lead the world in the new digital economy.

If money is targeted correctly and businesses continue to inspire children, as they did at the recent Festival of Engineering I organised, then I believe we will deliver the skills needed for Britain to lead the world in digital and high-tech production.

Here in the constituency I have been inundated with requests for appointments to meet me at one of my surgeries and have therefore doubled the number of slots available in the run-up to Christmas to cover the increased demand.

If you would like to speak to me face-to-face then please get in touch with me by emailing michelle.donelan.mp@parliament.uk or call my office on 01249 704465 and I would be happy to talk through and support with any issues you have.