On Friday 2nd February, Rebecca Evans MS, Member of the Senedd for Gower, will be joining Time to Talk Day by holding a Tea and Chat morning.
Time to Talk Day is the nation’s biggest mental health conversation. Happening every year, it’s a day for friends, families, communities, and workplaces to come together to talk, listen and change lives.
Rebecca Evans MS said: “Please come along and join me and volunteers from Mind for a cuppa at our Tea and Chat morning. Society has made great strides to combat the stigma that has for too long surrounded mental ill health, but there is still more to do.
“Conversations can literally save lives. This is an opportunity to come together, raise awareness of the importance of taking time to talk, and offer support to one another in a safe, comfortable environment.”
The Tea and Chat morning will take place on Friday 3rd of February 2023, 10 – 11.30am at Gorseinon Library. Everyone is welcome.
Rebecca Evans added: “We know the more conversations we have, the better life is for everyone. Talking about mental health isn’t aways easy, but a conversation really does have the power to change lives.”
Rebecca Evans, Member of the Senedd for Gower, is backing the new the All-Wales Cancer Community.
Launched by Tenovus Cancer Care, the Community is for anyone who has a cancer story to tell.
The invaluable experiences of members will be used to inform and support the cancer research community, health and social care partners, and Welsh Government, with the aim of improving outcomes for people affected by cancer.
Real-life experience of any cancer – either individually or through a loved-one – is all that’s needed to join the pioneering platform of people.
Rebecca Evans MS was pleased to meet the new recruits to the community.
Mrs Evans said: “People across Gower will have been, and will be, affected by cancer. To know there is a community which can come together to support and influence the policy, research and service development landscape in Wales is important.
“I would encourage anyone who wishes to know more, to find out more via the Tenovus website.”
Judi Rhys MBE, Chief Executive at Tenovus Cancer Care, said: “We want everyone affected by cancer, anywhere in Wales, to have a voice, and for their voices to be heard.
“This is more important than ever as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. The indications are there are thousands of missed cancer diagnoses, for a variety of reasons. We need to be prepared in Wales for that reality, so that our wonderful NHS and social care staff are ready and that all support services are in place.”.
All-Wales Cancer Community member, Gill Morton, said: “I hope as many people as possible join our new community and take this opportunity to speak openly about their personal experiences as there has never been a more important time to do so.
“Not only will joining the All-Wales Cancer Community mean being part of a movement of people campaigning to help people with cancer live their best lives but it will also help people with experience of cancer to have a voice and be heard. Having recovered from cancer I understand the challenges faced by all those affected, and the extra support needed during such difficult times.”
Visit https://www.tenovuscancercare.org.uk/ for more information or to sign up to the All-Wales Cancer Community.
Member of the Senedd for Gower, Rebecca Evans MS, is promoting the Keep Wales Tidy and Local Places for Nature scheme, which provides free garden packages to communities across Wales.
Since launching in 2020, it has created and enhanced over 800 green spaces in Wales for people and nature to enjoy. This year they have hundreds more free garden packages to give away to eligible organisations.
Rebecca Evans MS said: “Local organisations are being offered the opportunity to receive free garden packages. They can help enhance the beauty of our local communities across Gower and help to reverse nature’s decline. I would encourage organisations across Gower to get involved. The natural benefits to the community will be evident, but people who get involved will also feel the benefit to their wellbeing.”
“We have already seen the benefits of this scheme across the constituency, in Pontlliw Park and with the Forget Me Not Club in Llangyfelach.”
Each prepaid package includes native plants, tools and other materials. Keep Wales Tidy will handle the orders and deliveries, and their project officers will even provide support on the ground. The packages fall into three categories. Starter Packages, for community or volunteer groups looking to create small Food Growing Garden or Wildlife Gardens; Development Packages, for community-based organisations that are ready to take on a bigger project and build a Food Growing Garden or Wildlife Garden ; and Community Orchard packages, for community-based organisations who are looking to create a small community orchard on land that is 'not for profit ownership'.
Learners from Bishopton Comprehensive School and Penyrheol Comprehensive School connect with their local Member of Senedd Rebecca Evans through ‘Digital Dialogue’ events.
Learners at Bishopton Comprehensive School and Penyrheol Comprehensive School were treated to a unique form of political engagement on Friday 25th March, by taking part in a ‘Digital Dialogue’ event with their Member of Senedd Rebecca Evans; a video conference call that brought her directly into their classroom.
Rebecca took part in two Digital Dialogue events, speaking to a class from each school. In both sessions the learners discussed a wide range of topics, including Rebecca’s career before politics, voting at 16, impact of COVID-19 on small businesses, young people’s mental health and what Rebecca would do if she was Prime Minister!
Digital Dialogue events are 45 minute to one hour long video calls between politicians and their student constituents, and are one of the key components of social enterprise The Politics Project’s Digital Dialogue: Wales programme.
The Digital Dialogue: Wales programme is a political literacy initiative, developed by The Politics Project and funded by the Welsh Government. It is run in schools across Wales and equips students with knowledge, skills and confidence to engage in politics and in their local communities. The programme is designed to give young people a voice letting them have direct conversations with their political representatives about issues that matter to them.
Learners at both schools took part in preparatory workshops in advance of their Digital Dialogue events with Rebecca, which focused on helping them understand what the Senedd is and how Members represent them and how to construct questions while improving their confidence in public speaking.
COMMENT FROM CLAIRE RATTIE, TEACHER AT BISHOPTON COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL:
“I think this has been a fantastic opportunity to bring politics to life for our young pupils. We are extremely grateful to the Politics Project for facilitating the meeting and developing some brilliant resources to be used in schools and also to Mrs Evans for taking time out of her busy schedule to meet the pupils. They have thoroughly enjoyed the session and as expected asked some very pertinent, relevant, and thought-provoking questions about issues that are very close to their hearts.”
COMMENT FROM HOWARD EVANS, ASSISTANT HEAD TEACHER AT PENYRHEOL COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL:
“At a time when 16 year olds in Wales are about to have the opportunity to vote for the first time in their lives I cannot over emphasise how valuable the Digital Dialogue project has been in raising the awareness of the democratic process with pupils from Year 7 to Year 11. From the workshops delivered in school - supported by high quality teaching resources - to the digital surgery with Rebecca Evans MS the experience has been an enjoyable and highly beneficial one for our pupils. The maturity and challenge of the questions posed by the pupils, the sharing of their concerns and hopes for the future to the open and honest way in which Ms Evans answered the pupils' questions made, I am sure, for one of those moments in a pupil's time in school that is remembered for many years to come.”
COMMENT FROM REBECCA EVANS:
“It was such a pleasure to spend time talking to pupils from Bishopston Comprehensive School and Penyrheol Comprehensive School as part of the Politics Project. The pupils asked insightful questions, and they had obviously spent a lot of time thinking about the issues that matter to them most. We covered a lot of ground in the sessions, from mental health and the environment to regenerating our high streets and the cost of living. Listening to young people talking about their hopes for the future was wonderful, and it highlighted why it is so important that politicians get things right for our future generations.”
COMMENT FROM IAN POPE, HEAD OF PROGRAMMES AT THE POLITICS PROJECT:
“Thank you to Rebecca Evans MS and the learners and teachers at Bishopton Comprehensive School and Penyrheol Comprehensive School for two fantastic Digital Dialogue: Wales events. In both events the questions were of an impressive standard. It was great to see how engaged the learners were and how well they had prepared for their dialogue events. The Politics Project wants to make sure that during their time at school every young person can have the chance to have a meaningful conversation with a politician and build positive relationships. We really appreciate Rebecca’s support in helping us achieve that aim.”
Member of the Senedd for Gower, Rebecca Evans MS, has shown her support for women with ovarian cancer across Gower at a special event in the Senedd.
Rebecca Evans MS said: “Over 4,000 women in the UK die of ovarian cancer each year, and awareness of the key symptoms remains too low. We must come together and act now to make sure everyone knows what look out for, so that those affected by ovarian cancer face better outcomes.”
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
Alexandra Holden, Deputy Chief Executive of Target Ovarian Cancer, said: “We know that much more needs to be done to increase awareness of ovarian cancer and save lives. It is so important that we continue to come together at events like this to work to transform the future of ovarian cancer. We look forward to continuing to work with these MSs to make improvements in diagnosis and survival that women with ovarian cancer and their families deserve.”
Visit targetovariancancer.org.uk to find out more.
Rebecca Evans MS, Welsh Labour’s Member of the Senedd for Gower, has welcomed the announcement from the Welsh Government that a specialist endometriosis nurse has been appointed in Swansea Bay University Health Board to improve services for the chronic condition which affects one in ten women.
The post is part of a million pound investment by the Welsh Labour Government which includes wider plans to improve women’s health services.
Welcoming the new announcement, Rebecca Evans MS said:
“I welcome the announcement from the Welsh Government that a new specialist endometriosis nurse has been appointed in Swansea Bay University Health Board.
“Endometriosis affects one in ten women. It can cause serious pain and seriously impact quality of life for those affected. This new appointment will help raise awareness, diagnosis, and treatment of this serious condition.
“I am determined that people with endometriosis in Gower get the service they deserve.”
Rebecca Evans MS, Welsh Labour’s Member of the Senedd for Gower, has welcomed the announcement from the Welsh Labour Government that an additional £7.7m in funding has been confirmed to continue providing SilverCloud Wales - the free online mental health support tool for a further three years.
SilverCloud Wales is a free online therapy service designed to help people who experience mild to moderate anxiety, depression, or stress, manage their mental health and wellbeing.
Rebecca Evans MS said:
“I’m pleased that the Welsh Government is expanding the services offered through SilverCloud. Mental health affects different people in different ways so it’s important that there’s a range of resources to help people.
“Making use of the SilverCloud service can really help you if you have low level mental health needs – the service is available 24/7 and you don’t need a GP referral to access it.
“If you do need immediate help in managing your mental health and wellbeing, you can access the SilverCloud service here https://nhswales.silvercloudhealth.com/signup/”
Following an all-Wales pilot scheme launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, the service has helped people access online mental health support. As we move out of the pandemic the additional funding will expand the service and will offer access to digital therapy for young people aged 11 and over. It will also provide perinatal support.
During the pilot over 23,000 people have accessed SilverCloud’s mental health programmes and 64% of people reported a positive outcome following self-referral.
As well as being an online self-help service, SilverCloud Wales is backed up and supported by a team of psychologists and online cognitive behavioural therapy co-ordinators. It has the benefits of both being an ‘access from home’ service as well as professionally led one.
Feedback received by the Welsh Government has shown that people felt SilverCloud really helped them through a time where they needed a bit of support.
Mike Hedges, Julie James and Rebecca Evans, Welsh Labour Members of the Senedd for Swansea East, West and Gower, have welcomed the announcement from the Welsh Labour Government that 4,346 unpaid carers in the City and County of Swansea Council will receive a £500 payment in recognition of the pivotal role they have played during the pandemic.
The payment is part of a £29m investment in unpaid carers from the Welsh Government and recognises the financial and emotional hardship many have experienced.
Unpaid carers who are receiving Carer’s Allowance on March 31st this year will be eligible for the payment.
Welcoming the announcement, Mike Hedges MS for Swansea East said:
“I’m pleased that the Welsh Labour Government is investing £29m in our army of unpaid carers. It shows how much they value and appreciate those who care for others.
Julie James MS for Swansea West said: “Unpaid carers have played a pivotal role throughout the pandemic – they have gone above and beyond to care for family or friends.
Rebecca Evans MS for Gower said: “The physical and emotional impact of caring can be overwhelming – I hope this £500 payment will go some way to support during this cost-of-living crisis.”
An unpaid carer is someone who cares for a partner, relative or friend who has an illness of disability. Carers Allowance is paid to people caring for at least 35 hours a week, who care for someone receiving certain benefits and who earn no more than £128 a week.
The payment will benefit thousands of the most vulnerable unpaid carers in Wales, who frequently care for the longest and are on the lowest incomes.
Unpaid carers will be able to submit their claim to local authorities later this year. Further details on how and when to register for the payment will be available shortly.
The payment is being launched after a survey of more than 1,500 unpaid carers found nearly half had to use their personal savings and give up work or study to care, while more than half had to give up on hobbies or personal interests because of their caring role.
Combined with the cost-of-living crisis and the fact many of those in an unpaid carer role will be caring for individuals with complex needs who require warm homes, specialist medical equipment and certain foods – it is recognised unpaid carers will be exposed to greater financial pressures than others.
It is hoped a payment of £500 will go some way to easing these pressures, as well as recognising the value of their caring role over the last year to Wales’ health and social care system.
Rebecca Evans MS, Welsh Labour’s Member of the Senedd for Gower, has welcomed the announcement by the Welsh Labour Government that eligible families in Gower will receive a cash boost to help with school costs.
The £13m support package to help families pay for school uniforms and PE kits comes as welcome extra help comes as the cost-of-living crisis is deepens, as fuel and energy prices soar in the wake of the Ukrainian conflict and new UK Government tax rises are due to come into force next month.
The new funding will provide families across Wales who are eligible for help through the Pupil Development Access Grant with a one-off £100 top-up payment in 2022-23 to help with the costs of sending their children to school. It is part of the Welsh Labour Government’s Household Support Fund and is directly aimed at helping households meet the rising costs-of-living.
It follows recent announcements by the Welsh Labour Government to extend the PDG Access Grant to learners in all school years who are eligible for free school meals and £21.4m to extend free school meal provision through the Easter, Whitsun and summer holidays.
Welcoming the news, Rebecca Evans MS said:
“Household budgets are under significant pressure and many parents will be worried about how they can afford the things their children need for school.
“Families in receipt of the PDG Access Grant will already be using the £200 to help pay for their children’s school uniform. This extra payment will help cover other costs, such as PE kits, school shoes and other equipment, helping household budgets go a little bit further.
“I’m pleased that the Welsh Labour Government is able to provide more help to families at this difficult time and remove some of the financial barriers to education.”
The extra funding for PDG Access complements Welsh Labour’s commitments to help families with the cost of the school day.
Children in Wales, funded by the Welsh Labour Government, is working with schools across Wales to make a real difference for their pupils by supporting school leaders and teaching staff with this issue.
Rebecca Evans MS, Welsh Labour’s Member of the Senedd for Gower, has welcomed the Welsh Labour Government’s announcement that the Childcare Offer will be extended to parents in education and training and parents on adoption leave.
From September, parents in education and training and parents who are on adoption leave, if it is in line with the child’s Adoption Support Plan, will be eligible for up to 30 hours of government funded early education and childcare for children aged three and four.
Welcoming the announcement, Rebecca Evans MS said:
“Welsh Labour is committed to supporting working families with the costs of childcare. Our manifesto for the Senedd election outlined our pledge to provide more childcare for parents in education and training. I am pleased that the Welsh Labour Government is able to continue expanding the Childcare Offer, increasing the number of families who are able to access the offer.
“Increasing support with childcare costs for parents in education and training reflects the value the Welsh Government places on supporting people to improve their employment prospects by gaining qualifications, retraining or changing career paths.”
The Welsh Government has also announced an extra £6 million per year to increase the hourly rate for childcare providers from £4.50 to £5 per hour from April. The 11% increase will help provide greater sustainability across the childcare sector in Wales. Ministers have committed to reviewing the rate at least every three years. The maximum amount settings can charge for food will also increase from £7.50 to £9 a day, reflecting the increase in both food prices and utility and energy prices.
In addition, a further £3.5 million will be invested in Flying Start childcare and £1.5 million will be used to support the continued alignment of the Foundation Phase nursery and childcare funding rates under the Childcare Offer.