Gower Assembly Member Rebecca Evans has today met staff at an innovative NSPCC service centre.
The charity’s Swansea base delivers the ground-breaking Baby Steps programme, which helps parents cope with the pressures of a new child.
Spanning the period two months before due date to a short time after birth, Baby Steps includes home visits and a number of group sessions. These consist of creative activities, films and discussions and cover a range of themes, including development of an unborn baby, their health and wellbeing and the changes parents can expect.
With a strong focus on building relationships between parents and with their babies, groups are led by a children’s services professional – such as a midwife or health visitor.
The first 1,000 days of a child’s life are hugely important for every baby and it’s crucial that all parents receive support to ensure they provide the warm, responsive sensitive parenting that all children need. This is why NSPCC Cymru / Wales has called for all new parents to receive an enhanced health visiting service and access to support to address any issues early.
Other services delivered at the Swansea centre include ‘Thriving Families’, which provides early support to parents, and Letting the Future In, which provides specialist support for four to 17 year olds who have been sexually abused.
Head of NSPCC Cymru / Wales, Des Mannion, said:
“The work delivered by our Swansea centre is exemplary and really helps many families, so it’s a great pleasure to welcome a local AM to see that for herself.
“Baby Steps is a hugely successful programme that puts a strong focus on relationships between the couple and with their baby in the weeks before and immediately following a baby’s arrival.
“This period shapes a child’s future and the innovative work taking place isn’t only changing lives in Swansea, it’s also providing an extremely useful evidence base for our charity’s research.
“Our committed staff continue to do an incredible job across Wales and today’s visit is further recognition of that hard work.”
Rebecca Evans AM said:
"It was a pleasure to meet the NSPCC staff - including midwives and social care professionals - who are working closely with mums and dads in Swansea to ensure that their babies have a good start in life."
Rebecca Evans, AM for Gower, is delighted to be backing I Am Team GB, the nation’s biggest ever sports day on Saturday 27th August.
I Am Team GB is brought to you by ITV and The National Lottery, working with the British Olympic Association, UK Sport and supported by Join In, the London 2012 volunteer legacy charity. The day will see thousands of sports clubs across the UK open their doors and in an unprecedented move, ITV, STV and UTV will switch off their channels for an hour to inspire the nation to take part in a wide range of sports, free of charge.
The day will also celebrate the support the public gives Team GB’s athletes via The National Lottery. Over £80 million has been raised each year by National Lottery players to help fund elite athletes during the four-year build-up to Rio 2016.
It is a golden opportunity for every sports club and activity group to welcome new members and supporters and Rebecca Evans AM is encouraging local clubs in Gower to get involved.
"I Am Team GB is the nation's biggest ever sports day. It is a chance for Gower's local clubs and teams to showcase what they do, and to welcome new people to their sport. It is also chance to be inspired by the fact that Great Britain's squad boasts a record number of Welsh athletes for an overseas Olympics this summer in Rio," said Rebecca.
If you are a local sports club and would like to take part, or a member of the public wanting a fun day out on Saturday 27th August, please go to http://iamteamgb.com/ to find out how you can be part of I Am Team GB.
Swansea's Labour AMs, Rebecca Evans (Gower), Julie James (Swansea West), and Mike Hedges (Swansea East), have written to the UK's new Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, pressing for a commitment to make speedy progress on the electrification of the Great Western Main Line between London and Swansea.
Electrification of the line to Swansea had originally been scheduled to be completed by 2019. However, a UK Government review proposed electrification of the line to Cardiff by 2019 whilst pushing electrification of the line to Swansea as far back as 2024.
Rebecca Evans said: "We have made it clear to the new Secretary of State that long delays to delivering the electrification of the line to Swansea would be unacceptable. Swansea's commuters and businesses must not be left behind when it comes to investment in infrastructure.
Julie James said: "There are clear practical benefits to be had from completing the scheme from London to Swansea in one go, not least using electric rolling stock from the outset to benefit passengers."
Mike Hedges said: "The pressure is on for the newly appointed Secretary of State to demonstrate a commitment to the people and businesses of Swansea - to do so, he must throw out the plans to delay electrification to Swansea and return the programme to the original date for completion of electrification to Swansea"
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has welcomed the news that the proportion of households in Wales estimated to be living in fuel poverty has decreased by 6 percentage points in the last 4 years, but says there is still more to do.
A report by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) estimated fuel poverty levels across all Welsh households have decreased from 29% in 2012 to a projected 23% in 2016.
Meanwhile, over the same period the number of vulnerable households in fuel poverty is projected to have decreased by 7 percentage points and the percentage of households considered to be in severe fuel poverty has decreased from 5% to 3%.
Rebecca Evans said: “Over the years, Labour has introduced schemes such as the Winter Fuel Allowance, Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (HEES) and more recently NEST and Arbed to directly address fuel poverty in the Wales. Fuel poverty affects people in many different circumstances, from young families and students to older people.
"I am pleased that our schemes are having an impact, but there is more to do to ensure that people don't have to face the choice of whether to feed their families or heat their homes."
The report finds the impact of energy efficiency measures has been to reduce the projected levels of fuel poverty in all households by approximately 80,000 households, and to have reduced the projected levels of fuel poverty in vulnerable households by approximately 73,000 households.
The Welsh Government Warm Homes programme is designed to promote energy efficiency and tackle fuel poverty. The Welsh Government is investing £26 million into the programme this year alone. Since its inception in 2011, Warm Homes has delivered improvements to over 38,000 homes across Wales.
Rebecca Evans said: "It might seem strange talking about the importance of investing in warm homes during the summer time, but this is actually the perfect time for people concerned about the cost of heating their homes to explore whether they may be eligible for a grant from the Welsh Government so that they can be ready for winter."
The Warm Homes programme provides support through Nest, a demand-led fuel poverty scheme for individual households, and Arbed, which supports area-based energy efficiency schemes in deprived communities.
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has welcomed the Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths’, announcement that an additional £60,000 has been granted to help Swansea Council implement improvements in its recycling services as part of a £5.75m package across Wales.
Welcoming the announcement Mrs Evans said:
“I am proud of Wales’ record on recycling and welcome the additional funding for Swansea Council. Swansea recycling efforts continue to improve year on year with the overall recycling rate in 2014/2015 at 56.7%."
Swansea is on of ten local authorities across Wales receiving a share of the funding as part of the Welsh Government’s Collaborative Change Programme (CCP). The funding will allow local authorities to invest in equipment such as recycling vehicles, make improvements to collections and depot facilities and enable them to improve their rates of recycling. Swansea will use its funding to improve Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Figures show that Wales has the highest municipal recycling rate in the UK and would be in the top four in Europe if it were separately reported. The Welsh Labour Government’s aim is for Wales to have the highest national municipal recycling rate in the world with the ultimate ambition of achieving a ‘carbon neutral Wales' by 2020.
I will be holding an advice surgery in Gorseinon this Thursday 28th July, between 10am and 12 noon, at my constituency office - 9 Pontarddulais Road, Gorseinon to enable anyone to meet with me and raise any concerns or issues.
If you would like to book an appointment, please get in touch by either calling 0300 200 7160 or e-mailing Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has met with WWF Cymru to discuss the pressing issues that are facing the environment in the light of the decision to leave the EU.
Rebecca Evans said:
“Wales has benefited hugely from our membership of the European Union – not least through the raft of environmental legislation that has helped protect and enhance habitats and biodiversity across Gower, and access to European research which has helped inform our approach to sustainable development.
“In addition to this our farmers have benefited from access to millions of pounds in agri-environmental funding which has paid farmers to help them support the environment, and ensure that the land is fit to hand on to the next generation.
“European Directives on water quality have helped Gower’s coastline become internationally acclaimed.”
Rebecca Evans AM and WWF explored what action the Assembly and Welsh Government must take in order to ensure that the environment is well protected in the future in the absence of EU support. The Welsh Government’s ground-breaking Environment Act and Wellbeing of Future Generations Act will be critical in protecting the environment and addressing climate change in the future.
Mrs Evans added:
"Amidst all the uncertainty about the future, one thing we can count on is that I will continue to push for the Brexiteers to keep their promise of ensuring that Wales does not lose out financially as a result of the decision to leave the EU. I will also press for the upcoming negotiations to get the best deal for our environment so that we can continue building a sustainable Wales.”
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has welcomed plans for a new £80m treatment fund, and review of the Individual Patient Funding Request process (IPFR) announced today by Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Health, Vaughan Gething.
The new treatment fund will support the early introduction of the most innovative, high-cost medicines recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the All-Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG).
Welcoming the announcement, Mrs Evans said:
“I warmly welcome today’s announcement on the Treatment Fund and the IPFR. Together, these initiatives will ensure that patients have faster and more equal access to new and innovative medicines for some of the most life-limiting and life-threatening diseases.
“This delivers on one of Welsh Labour’s ‘Big Six’ pledges made ahead of May’s Assembly election. Other pledges include cutting business rates for all small businesses in Wales, and introducing thirty hours of free childcare for all three and four year olds for forty eight weeks of the year.”
A total of £80m over the life of this government will be made available. The fund will be a significant step forward in ensuring treatment for life-limiting and life-threatening diseases are immediately and consistently available across Wales following a positive recommendation by NICE or AWMSG.
The Cabinet Secretary today also announced a review of the IPFR process in Wales, which will review the clinical criteria used to determine eligibility for access to treatments not routinely available on the NHS. The independent review panel will draw on expertise and experience of the system in Wales and will bring a fresh perspective from outside of Wales. The patient perspective will also be an essential element of the review.
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, is urging local coastal communities to bid for their share of a £3.4m funding pot for coastal communities.
The Coastal Communities Fund offers grants of between £50,000 and £300,000 to fund projects that boost the economic prospects of coastal communities. Eligible projects must benefit coastal areas in Wales, promote sustainable economic growth and create or safeguard jobs.
Rebecca Evans said: "Since the start of Coastal Communities, 218 grants worth £125 million have been awarded to projects across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These projects will deliver 12,000 jobs opportunities, and help attract over £240 million of additional money to coastal areas. In Wales, some 39 grants worth £8,160,904 have already been awarded.
"This new round of funding, being delivered in partnership between the Welsh Government and Big Lottery Fund, offers our coastal communities across Gower the chance to receive grant funding for innovative projects that can create jobs and prosperity. The Coastal Communities Fund represents a huge opportunity, and I hope that people with great ideas and ambition will grasp it with both hands."
Projects can come from public, private and voluntary sectors.
More information can be found at: https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/coastal-communities
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has attended an event held by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) at the National Assembly to explore the way in which speech and language therapy can transform lives.
The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists was established to promote the art and science of speech and language therapy. This involves the care for individuals with communication, swallowing, eating and drinking difficulties. At the event, the RCSLT’s therapists were on hand to demonstrate a variety of voice techniques that people can use to help protect their voices, and to provide a unique insight into how they work with patients to get voices back in shape following months of illness.
Speaking following the event, Mrs Evans said: “The work of speech and language therapists is extremely important. From helping children with additional needs to develop a voice in the first place, to helping those who have been through serious trauma regain their voice, speech and language therapists work to provide life-improving treatment to people of all ages. In doing so, they work closely with parents, carers and other professionals, such as teachers, nurses, occupational therapists and doctors."
More information on the RCSLT can be found here: https://www.rcslt.org/