South Wales Argus: Your AM Writes

Happy New Year!

The start of a New Year brings an opportunity to look back as well as thinking about the year ahead. It’s a time to think of family and friends who have passed away and to make resolutions about looking after ourselves and to think of others more often. I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone who continued to work hard supporting people in need over the Christmas period.

The emergency services, NHS staff, carers and volunteers help people going through difficult times, every day of the year. Their work is invaluable.

– The festive season is a happy time for many but it can also be a difficult period for those dealing with mental health issues.

The Mental Health Foundation celebrate their 70th Anniversary this year and in that time significant progress has been made particularly in raising awareness and debunking the stigma. However, there is still some way to go. Samaritans Cymru have recently published a Working with Compassion toolkit to help remove the stigma surrounding emotional distress.

The free toolkit is designed to help people act compassionately in their own lives and give tips on assisting someone who is experiencing poor mental health. If you or anyone you know is struggling, the Samaritans can be contacted by phone on 116 123 or e mail [email protected]

– Rail passengers travelling to and from Newport have been very patient with the disruption over the last few weeks. Any improvement works are bound to affect journeys but it is incredibly frustrating when measures in place create more problems for passengers.

Whilst Great Western Railway fares have continued to increase, passengers travelling from Newport to Bristol often face poor services, overcrowding and disruption. We know too well the traffic congestion problem but unless public transport is more reliable, regular and affordable with sufficient capacity it won’t entice people off the roads.

It’s not good enough.

– Many congratulations to Finlay Bertram from Newport High School who has been elected to represent Newport West in the inaugural Welsh Youth Parliament.

I’m really looking forward to working with Finlay in the coming months.

– I hold regular advice surgeries across Newport West.

To find out details of my next surgery, or if you have any comments or issues that you would like to raise, please do not hesitate to get in touch on 01633 376627 or [email protected]