Mike Hedges AM for Swansea East, Rebecca Evans AM for Gower and Julie James AM for Swansea West are calling on constituents from the Welsh-Chinese community to put themselves forward for a new award designed to recognise their achievements and contributions to national life.
Nominations are now open for The Blossom Awards which aim to identify high achievers from the Welsh-Chinese and British-Chinese Community across the country in a range of fields from science and the creative industries to business and voluntary work.
The Awards aim to recognise unsung heroes like teachers, NHS staff and charity leaders, and those who have achieved success in professional fields like engineering, technology and business.
The Blossom Awards are the first ever accolades focused exclusively on the Welsh-Chinese Community – one of the largest and most established ethnic minority groups in Wales.
Whilst first generation Chinese immigrants typically worked in takeaways and restaurants, second and third generations, many of whom who were born or grew up in Wales, have flourished in a broad range of fields and make an outstanding contribution to our area and to national life beyond the traditional stereotypes.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “Welsh-Chinese people are doing inspirational work in communities across our area and across Wales, and the Blossom Awards shine a light on their success and contribution.”
Mike Hedges AM stated that: “The Blossom Awards are supported by leading businesses and organisations with a commitment to diversity and promoting the success of Welsh - Chinese people.”
Julie James AM said: “From business and the arts to science and the charity sector, the Awards enable Welsh-Chinese people to challenge outdated perceptions about their identity. Please encourage a friend, family member, neighbour or colleague who deserves recognition to nominate themselves.”
The Awards do not receive any funding from local or central Government or from any public body or charity in the UK — or from any foreign government, state-backed enterprise or agency.
Nominations are now open and close on Friday 12 June 2020 and must be submitted online: www.TheBlossomAwards.org.uk
Award Winners will be invited to a ceremony in central London in late October 2020.
The 12 categories open for nominations are:
2. Environment & Sustainability
4. Business & Professions
5. Engineering & Science
6. Public Service
7. Culture, Music & the Arts
8. Community & Charity
9. Young Achiever (under 30)
10. Food & Hospitality
11. Technology & Digital
12. Media & Creative Industries
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has expressed her gratitude to a Clydach firm and Swansea seamstress who are using their skills to making vital supplies for the NHS in Wales.
Red Dragon Flagmakers, which specialises in the production of flags for films, TV, festivals, and castles will now be making Personal Protective Equipment for use in Wales, joining Swansea seamstress Tesni Owen and others across Wales in responding to the call from the First Minister for help.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “It is wonderful to see businesses in Swansea stepping up to help meet the challenge of providing PPE for frontline workers in Wales. It is a fantastic demonstration of how the people of Wales are using their crafts and skills in a new way to help the NHS in Wales through this crisis.”
As a result of the work by Red Dragon Flagmakers, Tesni Owen, and others across the country, Wales is currently self-sufficient in manufacturing scrubs in Wales for the first time.
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has welcomed the news that children in Wales will continue to receive free school meals during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Welsh Government is the only UK administration so far to have guaranteed ongoing funding for children to continue to receive free school meals throughout the summer holidays in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “The Welsh Government has continued to take decisive action in its continued support for children who are in most need. It is no surprise that Wales is leading the way in supporting families who are struggling during the outbreak.”
With the support of the Welsh Local Government Association, the Welsh Government will make £33m available to help local authorities continue to provide free school meals; this is the equivalent of £19.50 a week per child.
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has welcomed the Welsh Government announcement that there will be support up to £6.3m for hospices in Wales during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “Hospitals provide crucial and compassionate care, and this funding will enable them to continue to provide their services through this crisis.”
The funding comes from the £1.1bn fighting fund created by the Welsh Government to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The funding for hospices is a three-month package of additional support worth up to £6.3m for Welsh hospices.
Rebecca Evans added: “The restrictions that are in place due to the pandemic have led to a drastic drop in income for hospices as fundraising events are cancelled, charity shops closed and campaigns paused. But at the same time, the vital work of hospices must continue. I am very grateful to all those working in hospices for all they are doing to support people and families at this most difficult of times.
On 30 March, the Welsh Government announced plans to release more than £1bn for a fighting fund for the economy and public services. Together with the additional support for business, including a package of rate reliefs, this brings the total funding available to more than £2bn to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic in Wales.
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has welcomed the announcement that there will be increased support for children’s mental health following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rebecca Evans said: “I welcome the Welsh Government announcement of £1.25m to provide additional mental health support for children who may be experiencing increased stress or anxiety as a result of the outbreak. This will increase the capacity of school counselling, for those children in need of such support.
“This is a challenging and unsettling time for everyone, but particularly so for those children who are experiencing anxiety or stress. As well as being supported academically by their schools, it is vital that children also have their emotional wellbeing supported.”
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM is emphasising that specialist services in Wales are open and available to help people facing increased risk from domestic violence and abuse during the coronavirus outbreak.
Rebecca Evans AM said: "Home should be a safe place, but it is a sad fact that during this time of national crisis domestic violence is increasing. The current lockdown means that some people feel trapped in their homes with their abuser.
"I want to assure people that there is support out there to help you leave.”
The Welsh Government’s Live Fear Free helpline can be contacted on 0808 8010 800.
A victim can call the police on 999, and they will respond urgently to a silent call if the caller presses 55 when the operator answers.
Mrs Evans added: “If you are in danger in your home, you will not be fined or arrested for leaving the house. Domestic abuse services in Wales are open and available, and can help you leave safely.
“You are not alone. There is help and support out there.”
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has welcomed the Welsh Government‘s announcement of an additional £40 million to support adult social care in Wales.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “This extra financial support will assist in meeting the increased costs of social care during the crisis, and will help deliver personal protective equipment (PPE), food, staffing and technology.
This funding comes from the fighting fund created by the Welsh Government to support public services to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
Rebecca Evans AM added: “I am very grateful to everyone working in social care, and I recognise the extraordinary role they are playing in helping some of the most vulnerable people in at this time. At a time when many people can’t see their loved ones, it is reassuring to know that we have an army of professional and compassionate social care workers looking after them.”
The £40m will be allocated to local government through the new Covid-19 local government ‘hardship fund’ which has been set up by the Welsh Government.
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has welcomed the announcement that the Welsh Government is to put the 2 metre distancing rule into law in the workplace.
Mrs Evans added: “I have been contacted by constituents who have been concerned that their employers have not been taking their safety as seriously as they should during the coronavirus outbreak, and as a result they have felt vulnerable in the workplace. The Welsh Government has listened to these concerns.”
The new legislation, which comes into place on Tuesday of this week, will require employers across Wales to take all reasonable actions to comply with the 2-metre rule. There will, of course, be jobs where this distancing may not be possible - for example in the medical and caring sectors. The needs of these professions will be addressed and appropriate guidelines given to ensure the safety of the workforce.
Rebecca Evans said: ”The Welsh Government is the only Government in the UK to be place into law a distancing of 2 meters in the workplace. Keeping workers safe is crucial.”
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has expressed her deep thanks to the hundreds of health and social care workers returning to the frontline, assisting the NHS and social care in tackling the Coronovirus pandemic.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “It is humbling to hear of the hundreds of men and women returning to the NHS and social care frontline, and I extend my thanks to each and every one of them.”
People who have left health and social care jobs within the last 3 years have been asked to join a temporary register to fulfil a range of clinical and non-clinical roles across the sectors. Those contacted as part of the emergency recruitment drive include retirees and others who had left their sectors to pursue different work.
Mrs Evans added: “Over 415 nurses and midwives and almost 700 doctors have been included on the temporary register, as well as pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Social Care Wales has also issued 850 letters to for registrants.
“Up to 3,760 students from across Wales in the medical, nursing, midwifery, Associated Health Professional, paramedic and healthcare scientist fields could also be available to work, on an opt-in basis, and their roles will depend on what stage they are at with their training.
“I have the utmost respect for everyone who is answering the call to help at this time of national crisis.”
Rebecca Evans AM urges people in Gower to give safely to charities responding to Coronavirus pandemic
Rebecca Evans AM joins the Charity Commission, the Fundraising Regulator, Action Fraud and Trading Standards to encourage people to give to genuine registered charities as people in Gower respond with generosity in the current crisis.
It comes as regulators receive reports of scammers targeting vulnerable people, for example by posing as fundraisers collecting money for charity, who are diverting vital funds away from genuine causes.
Rebecca Evans, AM for Gower is urging people to help ensure their donations reach genuine charities responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
Mrs Evans said “Charities, including those working in Gower are already forming a core part of the nation’s response to the pandemic.
“I would encourage people to support registered charities, at a time when many face an increased demand for their services, such as the National Emergencies Trust (NET) national coronavirus fundraising appeal.”
The appeal was launched to raise funds for local charities including in Gower responding to the pandemic.
Many local and national charities are dealing with the pandemic and continuing to do important work throughout the country to support vulnerable people and communities. By giving to a registered, regulated charity, people in Gower can have assurance that their funds will be accounted for in line with charity law.
Action Fraud and Trading Standards have received reports of fraudsters seeking to exploit the pandemic by targeting vulnerable people, for example posing as charity volunteers offering to help with shopping, offering fake virus testing, or claiming to be raising funds for charity.
There are simple ways of making sure you give safely to registered charities. Always check the charity’s name and registration number at gov.uk/checkcharity. Most charities with an annual income of £5,000 or more must be registered. Ensure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information. Also, be vigilant about unsolicited emails from charities you have never heard of and be careful when responding to emails or clicking on links within them. The public is also advised to ignore requests to donate through a money transfer company.
Rebecca Evans added: “I have been heartened and encouraged to witness the generous community spirit that people across Gower have demonstrated since this crisis began. I would like to thank all those who have been looking out for vulnerable neighbours and friends. I also want to encourage those across Gower who are able to donate, to support registered charities helping to relieve those most in need, and to be vigilant against ‘charity’ scams. Together, we can look after the people in Gower who need our help, and ensure this terrible situation strengthens our community.”
Baroness Tina Stowell, Chair of the Charity Commission, said:
“British people have a proud tradition of charitable giving and generosity, and this pandemic is already giving rise to that spirit of charity and community that brings people together. We want to ensure that people do so safely and in the most effective way possible so that people in need get help. We encourage everyone wanting to donate money to follow our simple steps to check that they are donating to a registered charity. By giving to a registered charity, the public can have assurance that their funds are regulated by the Charity Commission.
Lord Toby Harris, Chair of the Fundraising Regulator, said:
“Charities are a lifeline to many local communities and play a vital role in supporting people across the UK, particularly at a time of national crisis. In what is the most significant public health emergency in generations, we encourage the public to continue to give generously throughout these difficult times. Unfortunately, we have heard of some individuals who have used the Coronavirus outbreak as a means of defrauding the public, so we urge you to check that an organisation is legitimate before you give to it. For more helpful advice on giving to charity safely, please read our guidance here.”
Louise Baxter, Head of the National Trading Standards Scams Team, said:
“As people stay indoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19, criminals are preying on people in vulnerable situations who are isolated and living alone. The criminals often claim to represent charities to help them appear legitimate before taking the victim’s money. There are genuine charities providing support, so consumers should be vigilant and ask for ID from anyone claiming to represent a charity.
“There’s never been a more important time for neighbours to look out for each other – particularly as we self-isolate – which is why we’re encouraging communities to prevent scams in their local area by using the free Friends Against Scams resources. Our online courses will help you spot a potential scam, identify people at risk and help you protect local residents from falling victims to scams. We’re urging communities to protect each other from scams and encourage people to share the latest advice with families, friends and neighbours.”