Gower Assembly Member Rebecca Evans has proudly led the fight against Inflammatory Bowel Disease by opening nationwide fundraiser, WALK IT, in Swansea on behalf of Crohn’s & Colitis UK.
Rebecca Evans AM joined hundreds of fundraisers in Black Pill to help raise awareness and vital funds for those living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
The WALK IT events organised by charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK take place throughout June and July and invite anyone to join and walk either 5km or 10km to show their support for the fight against IBD. There will be three more events taking place across the country in - Edinburgh, Birmingham and Bristol.
The charity aims to reunite the country together to raise awareness of IBD, and fight for the 300,000 people in the UK with the condition to achieve a better quality of life.
Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease causing inflammation and ulcers in the bowel which can lead to urgent and frequent diarrhoea, rectal bleeding, pain, profound fatigue and anaemia. It is largely a hidden disease that can cause stigma, fear and isolation.
Sam Afhim, Director of Income Generation, Crohn's and Colitis UK, said: “We want to raise vital funds and awareness for the people struggling with IBD and the devastating effects it can have on people and their families. At Crohn’s & Colitis UK, we want to spread the word that there is support and there are other people in the same situation - which is why our WALK IT fundraising events are so important in bringing everyone together.”
Funds raised through WALK IT directly enable the charity to carry out vital new research, answer more calls from people needing help and provide patient packs to hospitals across the UK, amongst others.
Join us as we Walk IT together; challenging stigma, standing strong and raising vital funds for the fight against Inflammatory Bowel Disease. To find your nearest WALK IT location, and to sign up to the event, please visit: https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/walkit
Swansea AMs Julie James, Rebecca Evans and Mike Hedges have praised the Welsh Labour Government for its ambitious legislative programme.
The AMs welcomed the legislative priorities for the year ahead, which the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, set out in a statement to the Welsh Assembly on Tuesday.
The statement contains five bills:
• Regulatory Reform of Registered Social Landlords Bill;
• Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) Bill – pending the Supreme Court judgement;
• Childcare Offer Application Processing Bill;
• Fees Charged to Tenants in the Private Rented Sector Bill;
• Local Government Bill.
Julie James AM for Swansea West commented:
“The Welsh Labour Government continues to make Wales a better place to live and work, where prosperity is shared, where public services are protected and where the next generation are given the best start in life.
We are working to build a Wales that is healthy and active, prosperous and secure - an ambitious learning nation that is united and connected.”
Gower AM, Rebecca Evans added:
“Over the past year I have been pleased to take the ground-breaking Public Health Wales Bill through the Assembly in my Ministerial Role - it is due to become law next week. The Bills announced today promise to further deliver on the pledges we set out in our ambitious manifesto last year.”
Swansea East AM, Mike Hedges added:
“The Welsh Labour Government continues to deliver on important issues for my constituents such as childcare and the fees charged by letting agents often to those who can least afford to pay.”
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has backed Welsh Health Secretary Vaughan Gething's call on the UK Government to remove the NHS staff pay cap and make funds available to the Welsh Government so NHS Wales staff get the pay rise they deserve.
Rebecca Evans AM said: "During the election, we saw the Prime Minister tell a nurse who hadn't had a pay rise in eight years that there was "no magic money tree." Well, the PM seemed to find one this week with her billion pound bung to the DUP. It's time that the UK Government provides Wales with the funding we need to recognise and reward our NHS staff who work diligently and passionately day in day out."
Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: “I’ve today written to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, urging him to make the case to the UK Treasury to remove the cap on pay and make funds available across the UK to allow hard working NHS staff to receive a pay uplift of greater than 1%.
“Yesterday, the UK Government found more than £1bn to effectively end austerity in Northern Ireland. I fully expect them to make money available so that we can give our hardworking health service staff the pay rise they deserve. They deserve nothing less.”
The full text of the letter is as follows:
“The NHS forms part of the common foundations of UK society. The staff who work within the NHS provide an invaluable service and quite rightly elicit very high levels of public trust and support; they are highly trained and dedicated to delivering the best possible healthcare to the public.
“We have a responsibility to treat these dedicated individuals with fairness and equity. The UK government policy on public sector pay restraint has created real and significant issues for NHS staff. Over this period of restraint, we have, in Wales, committed to tackling the issue of low pay and ensured that the lowest earners in NHS Wales are paid a fair salary, as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.
“I attended the RCN Conference this year and was struck by some of the very powerful individual stories which reflect the real hardship faced by some NHS staff as a result of prolonged pay restraint. The “RCN’s “Summer of Protest” which starts today gives us a clear signal about the strength of feeling amongst RCN members. We know that the BMA and Agenda for Change unions are supportive of the RCN stance.
“This “Summer of Protest” is a mutual problem for Governments across the UK and our respective NHS services will all be affected by action targeted at UK government pay restraint policies.
“I would urge you to make the case to the UK Treasury to remove the cap on pay and make available funds across the UK to allow hard working NHS staff to receive a pay uplift of greater than 1%.”
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, will be holding an advice surgery on Friday 30th June, between 4pm – 5pm, at Ostreme Community Centre.
If you would like to book an appointment, please get in touch with her office by either ringing 01792 899 081 or emailing Rebecca.email@example.com
Labour team opposes Clydach bank closure
Labour's Gower representatives and local Councillor in Clydach have jointly written to the UK CEO of Barclays Bank and HM Treasury, following the announcement that the branch will be closing in September 2017.
Cllr Paulette Smith is concerned about the local independent traders in the area, Cllr Smith said: "Clydach has numerous independent retailers, and small businesses need access to a local bank in order to manage their money. Business people in Clydach are extremely concerned about what Barclays departure will mean for them and their ability to operate."
Tonia Antoniazzi MP said: "I am very concerned about our older residents for whom online banking just isn't a realistic option. Lots of older people prefer to use cash and manage their household budget on a week to week basis. Travelling considerable distances to use the bank is not as easy as it sounds for people who don't have a car, particularly for those who are older or disabled."
Rebecca Evans AM said: "We all know the pressure that the high street banking industry is under because of advances in technology and changes in customers' banking behaviour. However, it is often the most vulnerable who suffer the most, and the closure of one bank after the other across our communities is just not good enough. We have written to the UK CEO of Barclays and the UK Government's Economic Secretary to the Treasury seeking a much more strategic and innovative approach to community banking to stem the tide of banks leaving our high streets in Wales."
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has taken part in Leonard Cheshire Disability’s ‘Senedd Tour de Cymru.’ This involved a ride on one of Leonard Cheshire Disability’s static bikes in the Senedd, to highlight the value of sport and social activities for disabled people in Wales.
Rebecca Evans said: “I was pleased to be involved in this initiative. It was a visible way of bringing to people’s attention the importance of sport for everyone, and a means to raise money that will go directly to benefit the people that Leonard Cheshire Disability supports across Wales, buying items such as sports kit, physiotherapy equipment and paying for sporting activities."
The event was an enjoyable challenge, encouraging a little healthy competition by the running of a leader board.
Armed Forces Day
Rebecca Evans, Mike Hedges and Julie James the Assembly Members representing Swansea are supporting Armed Forces day, showing gratitude to the women and men who serve and have served in the Armed Forces.
Armed Forces Day is a chance to show your support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community, from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets.
People the length and breadth of the country who want to salute our forces personnel will be attending events and the local AMs are asking people to show their support by giving a salute.
Rebecca, Mike and Julie said: “we, like many Swansea residents , look forward to Armed Forces Day and the opportunity to pay tribute to those that serve and have served in our armed forces."
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, is today calling on constituents to spot the signs that people close to them might be experiencing problem debt. Debt and money worries are often seen as a taboo subject, so it is time to get people talking about their money worries and getting advice earlier to prevent their debts becoming unmanageable.
This call for action comes following new findings about the symptoms of problem debt by the Money Advice Service. The research found that debt problems often build up over time, so people may not be fully aware of the extent of their financial difficulties until they reach crisis point. Identifying the signs and getting help early prevents these problems becoming critical.
Around 35,003 of people in Swansea regularly miss bill re-payments, or feel overwhelmed by their debts. Of those, fewer than one in five seek advice to help their situation. This means a worrying number of people in Gower could be suffering in silence with serious money problems, with young adults, people who rent their homes, large families and single parents noticeably at higher risk. Friends and family can make all the difference to break the silence and encourage them to get help.
Rebecca Evans AM, said:
“For too long, debt and money worries have been a taboo subject in the UK. Yet research from the Money Advice Service has shown that one in six of us experience problem debt which negatively impacts our lives. That is why I am supporting their call for family and friends to spot the signs of problem debts and help their loved ones to tackle their money worries.
“I encourage people in Gower to talk about money worries, and engage with the Money Advice Service.”
The signs someone is experiencing problem debt are often difficult to spot. They may be hidden due to embarrassment, to protect friends and family from the situation, or because people either don’t realise or want to confront the full extent of their money problem. Signs will vary for each person. However, there are a range of physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms which can give friends and family subtle clues about behaviour which seems out of character.
These signs could include:
There are three simple steps that friends and family can take to help someone who might be experiencing financial difficulties:
1) Start a conversation – Use your own personal experiences to help get to the bottom of their financial worries, make sure you keep the conversation neutral and non-judgmental.
2) Talk to them about free debt advice – Help your friend or family member to understand that free debt advice will help them get their finances back on track. Ask them to make a commitment to seek free debt advice. You could also offer encouragement by going along with them.
3) Use the Money Advice Service – Encourage them to use the Debt Test on the Money Advice Service website to work out the best option to help them resolve their money worries and find free debt advice in their area.
Debt advice can have a massive impact on people’s lives. Within three months of receiving advice, 65% of those worried about problem debt are either repaying their debts or have repaid them in full. 73% feel less stressed about dealing with their finances, two thirds (62%) are sleeping better, over half (55%), reported better physical health and 69% said their relationships improved.
Sheila Wheeler, Director of Debt Advice at the Money Advice Service, said:
“With one in six people in the UK at risk of a debt crisis, there is a high chance that someone close to us may be struggling with money troubles. We are calling on friends and family to watch out for the signs someone might need help and to support them to access free debt advice as soon as possible.
“For people who are experiencing financial difficulties, we want you to know that help is available and you do not need to suffer alone. Friends and family will want to help and support you. Free debt advice is available now and will help support you in getting your finances back on track before your money worries become a bigger issue. Use the Debt Test to find out how you can resolve your debts and find free, impartial help in your area.”
For more information visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/debt
New cockle death research welcomed
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has welcomed the announcement of a two and a half million pound project which will seek to establish the cause of the cockle deaths in the Burry Inlet.
Rebecca Evans, who has been making representations on behalf of the cockle industry in South West Wales since as far back as May 2012, explained:
"Cockle mortality in the area has been a long-standing issue. Researchers, supported by the Welsh Government, have ruled out as single causes of mortality a raft of potential factors - including stock density, food limitation, chemical pollutants, sediment movement and temperature variations.
"The latest evidence suggests that remaining causes might include naturally occurring parasites and pathogens, or natural 'boom and bust' population dynamics, but there is no conclusive evidence. I hope this new research will shed some light on this serious issue, because I know how important the industry is to our communities."
The £2.6m research project will allow Natural Resources Wales to work with Bangor University and other UK research experts as part of an investigation into the unexplained cockle deaths which will take in other European countries including Ireland, Portugal, France and Spain, where cockle deaths have been harming their industries.
Rebecca Evans, Assembly Member for Gower, has welcomed the news that following negotiations with manufacturer Roche, Health Secretary Vaughan Gething has announced that breast cancer drug Kadcyla®, will be routinely available on the Welsh NHS.
This means that Welsh patients with certain types of advanced breast cancer will be able to benefit from the treatment.
The Welsh Government’s £80 million New Treatment Fund has been designed to ensure new medicines such as Kadcyla® can be made available as soon as possible, and certainly within two months of the recommendation from NICE.
Rebecca Evans AM said: "The £80 million New Treatment Fund was a key pledge in our Welsh Labour manifesto at the last Assembly election, and I am delighted that it is already delivering fair access to life-prolonging and life-saving treatments. It shows that we make good on the promises that we make."
Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething, said: “I am very pleased to be able to announce that Kadcyla® has been approved for use in Wales following negotiations with the manufacturer.
“We are committed to improving the introduction of innovative, evidence-based, treatments, which is why we’ve introduced an £80 million treatment fund in Wales. The fund will be used to ensure patients get fast-access to this innovative, life-prolonging drug.”