AM backs Pension Credit campaign
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, is backing the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales’ campaign to ensure that everyone who is entitled to Pension Credit is claiming it.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “Pension Credit can make a really positive difference to older people’s lives, but every year thousands of older people in Wales miss out on millions of pounds in unclaimed financial entitlements.”
If your weekly pension is less than £167.25 (or £255.25 for couples), you may be eligible for Pension Credit, which tops up your income and unlocks a range of other entitlements, such as council tax discounts, free dental treatment, and help with housing costs. You may still be entitled to Pension Credit even if you own your own home, or have savings and other income.
Rebecca Evans added: “The average amount of Pension Credit received by people who claim it is £58 a week, which could boost your income by as much as £3,000 a year.”
It’s really easy to claim Pension Credit - all it takes is a phone call. You just need your national insurance number, your bank details and information about your income and savings. Call the Pension Credit claim line now on 0800 99 1234 to make sure you receive what you’re entitled to.
Gower AM’s praise for young carers
Thursday 30th January will mark Young Carers Awareness Day, an annual campaign to highlight the challenges young carers face and the importance of giving them the support they deserve.
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, said: “Wales has a large number of young carers who selflessly dedicate themselves to looking after their loved ones. Research continues to highlight that young carers are more likely to have poorer physical health and educational outcomes than their peers, which can have life-long consequences.”
Carer services in Wales support children as young as five years old and note that bullying, low self-esteem and even self-harm is not uncommon.
Mrs Evans added: “Today is a day to pay tribute to the inspiring contributions made by young carers, and commit to working alongside schools and charities to ensure that these young people are given every support to ensure that as they help others they are not putting their own health at risk.”
Young carers across Swansea can find out more about the support available to them via the Council’s website.
AM backs campaign to end HPV stigma
Rebecca Evans AM is supporting Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to tackle the myths and stigma which surround the common virus HPV and get the facts out.
Last year, Wales led the way in moving to a far more sensitive HPV test, which will save lives - but it also means that many more women will be told they have HPV. Rebecca Evans AM is teaming up with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to tackle the misconceptions about the virus.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “ In the majority of cases, HPV infection goes away without doing the body any harm. Sometimes it causes cells to change which, if not treated, could develop into cervical cancer. The new test for HPV is far more accurate than anything we have had before, and it is estimated to prevent almost 500 diagnoses of cervical cancer every year.”
New research conducted by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has found a third of women consider HPV a taboo topic and would not want anyone to know if they had it. A quarter haven’t heard of HPV and one in five would feel embarrassed if they were told they had the virus. Calls to the charity’s Helpline about HPV have already risen 50% over the past year.
Robert Music, Chief Executive, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust: “HPV can be confusing but it is nothing to be ashamed of. 80% of us will get at least one type of HPV in our lives and in most cases the immune system will get rid of the infection without it causing any harm. We need to get the facts out about HPV and get rid of harmful myths and stigma around this really common virus.”
● At some point in our lives, 4 out of 5 (80%) of us will get at least one type of HPV. In most cases the immune system will get rid of it. Around 90% of HPV infections clear within 2 years
● HPV infections do not usually have any symptoms, so you may not even know you had it.
● HPV lives on our skin, so it is easy to get and difficult to completely protect against.
● There are over 200 types of HPV. About 40 HPV types affect the genital areas
● Most genital HPV types are low risk. They can cause conditions like genital warts
● About 13 HPV types are linked to cervical cancer. These types are called high-risk HPV.
● You are at risk of getting HPV from your first sexual contact, whatever that is – it doesn’t have to be penetrative sex
● We can have HPV for a long time without knowing about it, so it is hard to know when we got HPV or who we got it from
● Cervical screening (a smear test) can find a high-risk HPV virus and changes early, before it develops into cancer.
● For more information:https://www.jostrust.org.uk/information/hpv
AM hears from people living with a stoma
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has met with people living with a stoma as part of the #BeTheChange campaign which seeks to raise awareness of the needs of ostomates.
Speaking after an event in the Senedd, Rebecca Evans AM said: “Assembly Members had the chance to hear from people from all walks of life who are living with a stoma - but one thing they all had in common was having had experience of discrimination and a lack of understanding about their needs.”
Using disabled toilets is a particular concern. You cannot tell that someone has a stoma, so many ostomates reported having nasty comments from other people when using the disabled facilities.
Keith Thomas who lives in Llanelli and is a bus driver in Swansea said: “Hidden disabilities are just that - hidden. It’s time for people to open their eyes, and stop judging others.”
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, is backing ambitious new proposals set out by the Welsh Labour Government which would lead to all new homes in Wales being heated and powered only from clean energy sources from 2025. The move would make all new homes more energy efficient and cheaper to run.
The consultation proposals unveiled by Welsh Labour’s Housing Minister, Julie James AM, are part of wider Welsh Government plans to address the climate emergency it declared last year.
Rebecca Evans AM said:
“The Welsh Labour Government’s proposals will not only help tackle climate change, but they will also help to keep down household energy costs now and in the future.
“The climate crisis is the biggest challenge of our time and housing is a key contributor to it. Housing currently accounts for 9% of Welsh greenhouse gas emissions.
“If we are to tackle the climate crisis and meet the ambitious target set by the Welsh Labour Government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 95% by 2050, we need to take action now.”
The consultation on the new proposals closes on March 12th 2020 and can be found at: https://gov.wales/building-regulations-part-l-review-0
Gower AM meets seafarer representatives
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has met with the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, which represents the seafaring industry who are seeking to increase employment and training for sailors in Wales, and improve their workers’ rights and wages.
Rebecca Evans AM heard that over 1,300 sailors add £127 million a year to the Welsh economy, yet local workers cannot always compete for this work because of ‘legal loopholes’ that allow anti-trade union companies to employ non-UK workers on contracts that pay less than the minimum wage, for months at sea.
Rebecca Evans said: “Sailors are essential for sustaining the ferry services, freight and offshore wind developments that that are key to regenerating the Welsh economy. Our maritime industry has a long and proud heritage, and I am committed to working alongside seafarers to ensure they have a good future.”
Farmhouse Breakfast Week
To mark Farmhouse Breakfast Week, Rebecca Evans AM visited Llannant Farm in Gorseinon.
Llannant is a third generation family run beef and dairy farm, run by Mansel Stevens and his sons, John and Andrew.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “Farmhouse Breakfast Week is a chance to showcase and celebrate our world-class Welsh produce, and the hard-working farmers who produce it.”
Whilst at the farm, Rebecca Evans had the chance to hear about some of the current challenges facing farmers - and meet the farm’s newest resident, Esmor the bull.
John Stevens said: “Welsh food is produced to some of the highest standards in the world, with safety and quality at the top of the agenda. When people start the day with a breakfast of Welsh produce they know they are getting the day off to a good start!”
Andrew Stevens said: “People are becoming more and more conscious about where their food comes from. When you support your local farmers, you cut down on food miles and support your local economy.”
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has welcomed Welsh Government funding for Clydach Cricket Club. The Club will receive £25,000 through the Landfill Disposals Tax Community Scheme which is funded from tax received from landfill in Wales.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “I am thrilled that Clydach Cricket Club will benefit from this Welsh Government funding. The Cricket Club will use the funding to modernise, enhance and expand the size of the community clubhouse, creating a safe, welcoming and social environment that is both energy and waste efficient.”
The scheme was established to support local community and environmental projects and will open for applications again later this year.
AM backs Your Medicine, Your Health
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, is teaming up with the Your Medicines Your Health campaign to promote the safe and effective use, storage and disposal of medicines.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “Wasting medications, misusing them, storing them incorrectly and disposing of them inappropriately when they are no longer used, causes a number of problems for our NHS. It wastes precious money and resources, and means that people aren’t always getting the maximum benefit from the medicine they take.”
The campaign which is backed by the Welsh Government is now being rolled out across the Swansea Bay Health Board area.
Rebecca Evans AM added: “A good place to start is by having a look in your medicines cupboard to check whether you have any unwanted, unused, or out of date medicines. If you do, you can return them to your local pharmacy where they will be disposed of safely.”
For more information on the campaign contact Juliet.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the campaign on twitter @WalesYMYH.