Every month, my column is published in the South Wales Argus. You can read it here, or on their website
• St David’s Hospice in Malpas is well known to people in Newport and close to many of our hearts. The care by staff is invaluable to those who need it and their families.
Earlier this month I was joined by Health Secretary Vaughan Gething AM to look around progress on the new unit which is due to admit its first patients this spring.
The £5 million extension is partially funded with £3m from the Welsh Government and will be run in partnership with Aneurin Bevan Health Board and Newport City Council. The state of the art facility will have 15 beds giving patients first class care and will include a community hub and extra car parking.
• Today (Thursday 26th) a new campaign to tackle loneliness in Gwent will be launched by the Minister for Social Services, Rebecca Evans AM in Newport.
The Ffrind I Mi campaign, run by Aneurin Bevan Health Board, aims to tackle loneliness and social isolation by partnering volunteers with people who are lonely by matching their interests. Loneliness has a massive impact on physical health – it has been found to have the same effect as smoking 15 cigarettes a day – and also mental wellbeing.
It can happen to anyone at any time in their lives and is a growing problem. As a Member of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee I’m glad that we are looking at this as our next Inquiry. If you’d like to take part in the Consultation please email SeneddHealth@assembly.wales or contact me for more information.
• Wales’ first ever Bus Summit took place this week as part of the Welsh Government’s 5 point plan for the industry. This is definitely a step in the right direction.
Many people rely on the service to get to and from work and for some, the service can be a life-line and the only way to get out and about. The Welsh Government will work with Local Authorities and focus on quality and sustainable bus networks that serve our community while ensuring value for money.
• Tomorrow (27th January) is Holocaust Memorial Day. There will be a Service at Newport Cathedral at 11am – all welcome. Importantly there will be pupils from schools across Newport present.
We will be remembering the horrendous persecution that happened during the holocaust and those who have been killed in subsequent genocides in places such as Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur. We must never forget.