Rebecca Evans MS, Member of the Senedd for Gower, has announced that in her role as Minister for Finance she will be making funds available to ensure that free school meals provision during holidays will continue until Easter 2021.
Rebecca Evans MS said: “The Welsh Government have responded to the urgent need of the most vulnerable children in Wales, so that provision is put in place to ensure the most vulnerable children of our country are supported when they need it most.”
The move has been backed by footballer Marcus Rashford saying he welcomed “the Welsh Government's swift response to this urgent need in protecting the most vulnerable children across the country.” Marcus Rashford MBE said: "Holiday provision is vital to stabilising households during the school closures, given the devastating effects of COVID-19.
“Having this framework in place for the foreseeable future will have a significantly positive impact on children who are struggling to engage in learning due to anxiety and fear, not to mention the noise of their rumbling stomachs.
“No child in 2020 should be sat in a classroom worried about how they are going to access food during the holidays, and the impact that will have on their parents when matched with unemployment, ill health and, in some cases, personal loss. “There is still so much more work to be done to protect this next generation but I welcome the Welsh Government's swift response to this urgent need in protecting the most vulnerable children across the country. Our children and their welfare should never not be the priority.”
The Welsh Government has committed to funding of £11m for school meals over every holiday up to and including Easter 2021. £700k has also been allocated to support colleges with the equivalent provision for eligible learners.
Mrs Evans added: “These are uncertain and worrying times for us all, but for those living in poverty the burden is even heavier, with many parents faced with the dilemma of how to feed their children during the holidays. The Welsh Government will always have the needs of the children of Wales at the top of our agenda."
Swansea Senedd Members and Shelter team up for advice surgery
Rebecca Evans MS (Gower), Julie James MS (Swansea West), and Mike Hedges (Swansea East) have teamed up with Shelter Cymru to hold an online housing advice surgery.
The Members of the Senedd said: “A warm, safe home that meets your needs is so important – and lockdown has highlighted that more than ever. We know that many people have problems relating to their housing, which is why we are teaming up with Shelter Cymru for an advice surgery. If you are having housing issue, there is expert advice out there.”
The surgery will take place online, on Friday 25th September, 1-2pm.
To reserve your place, email Rebecca Evans MS at Rebecca.email@example.com
Member of the Senedd for Gower, Rebecca Evans MS, has welcomed the announcement by the Welsh Government that nearly £32m is being invested to speed up result turnaround times for COVID-19 testing.
The additional funding money will pay for extra staff and equipment for the Public Health Wales lab at Morriston Hospital, Swansea so that it can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Rebecca Evans MS said: “This is good news. This investment will ensure the faster delivery for contact tracing and ensure that we are prepared for any increases in cases during the autumn and winter period.
“The money will also support the creation of six new Hot Labs at acute hospitals across Wales - one of which will I am pleased to say will be in Morriston. It will have rapid testing equipment to turn tests around in less than four hours.”
Member of the Senedd for Gower, Rebecca Evans MS, in encouraging the residents of Gower to take part in this year’s Playday, on Wednesday 5th August.
The Playday 2020 campaign theme is ‘Everyday Freedoms, Everyday Adventures,’ and it highlights the importance of giving children and teenagers the freedom to play.
Rebecca Evans MS said: “This year has been particularly challenging for children and young people. Playday 2020 recognises the impact that the pandemic has had on children’s mental health and their opportunities to play freely with friends and out in their community.”
This year, Playday focuses on the unique characteristics of play that help children make sense of the world around them and can alleviate their stress and anxiety - particularly during challenging and uncertain times.
Rebecca Evans MS added: “Playing is fun and is central to children’s happiness. It helps children’s physical, mental and emotional health and well-being, boosts children’s resilience, and helps them to cope with stress, anxiety and challenges. It supports children to develop confidence, creativity and problem-solving skills and contributes to children’s learning and development.”
Children and their parents and carers can join thousands of families in the rest of the UK to Make a Big Noise for Playday at 2:00pm on Wednesday 5th August. You can clap or cheer for play, and share photos or videos of you taking part, by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the #Playday2020 hashtag to share on social media.
For more information about Playday visit www.playday.org.uk or contact us so that we can provide further details.
Member of the Senedd for Gower, Rebecca Evans MS, has welcomed the news that the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund has already protected 75,000 jobs.
Rebecca Evans MS said: "The fund, which I launched in my role as Minister for Finance, has seen crucial grants provided to businesses to help them deal with the impacts of coronavirus. Almost £138 million has supported Micro and SME firms already, with more funding arriving with businesses by the day.
“The fund is proving essential in ensuring Welsh businesses get the financial support they need in these most difficult of times, ensuring Welsh businesses have the support needed to look towards a positive future.
"We have a large number of micro and small businesses in Gower and this fund is good news for our community."
The ERF is part of the Welsh Government’s £1.7 billion package of support for business which is the most generous and comprehensive offer of help anywhere in the UK.
For the first time in the history of the Census, there will be a question on service in the Armed Forces following a campaign led by The Royal British Legion and supported by Gower’s Member of the Senedd, Rebecca Evans MS.
The Royal British Legion, which led the campaign, is at the heart of a national network offering a range of support and services to the Armed Forces community. The decision to include the question on whether someone has served in HM Armed Forces in the 2021 census will provide the Legion, as well as public bodies, local authorities, and other military charities with valuable information to ensure they can best meet the needs of serving personnel, veterans and their families.
It has been estimated that there are 2.4 million veterans currently living in Great Britain, making up part of a wider ex-Service community which includes their spouses, partners, dependent children and widow(er)s. However, little is currently known about the exact numbers, location and needs of this significant group.
Rebecca Evans said: “Having a better understanding of the profile and needs of veterans is a key part of making sure our public services are tailored for our armed forces community. I welcome this historic change to the 2021 Census to include a question on the Armed Forces, and have been proud to support the campaign.”
Rebecca Evans MS joins Electrical Safety First in warning about dangerous electrical beauty products for sale online
Member of the Senedd for Gower, Rebecca Evans MS, has joined leading consumer safety Charity Electrical Safety First to warn that people in Wales may be buying unsafe electrical items online.
The Charity Electrical Safety First carried out an investigation which discovered that some hair clippers, hair removal kits and other beauty salon electrical items for sale in online marketplaces were unfit for sale to Welsh consumers as advertised, putting them at risk of electric shock and fire.
Rebecca Evans MS said “With hairdressers and beauty salons currently closed in Wales, research has revealed that more than a third (38%) of adults in Wales have either already purchased or are considering purchasing an electrical beauty item such as hair clippers or hair removal kits from an online marketplace.
“Electrical Safety First have told me of their concern about unsafe beauty products being sold online – and it might not be immediately obvious from the advertisements why they might be dangerous.”
The investigation has raised awareness of the dangerous of purchasing products on online marketplaces that are not compatible to be used in Wales as they often advertised without UK plugs, and are sold with dangerously poor-quality travel adaptors for permanent use. The Charity is concerned that such items are illegal and risks electric shock or a fire in consumers home.
Notes to editor:
Rebecca Evans and Jeremy Miles, Members of the Senedd for Gower and Neath, congratulate the Swansea Canal Society for having received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. It is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK - the MBE for volunteer groups.
The Swansea Canal Society is a group of volunteers based around the Swansea Canal in the Lower Swansea Valley, which aims to promote the heritage and history of the canal, protect its wildlife, restore the canal to navigable standards, to improve the canal environment for the health and benefit of all local residents and visitors.
Rebecca Evans MS said: “I have had the privilege of spending time with volunteers of the society, and have seen first hand the great work they do to ensure that the Swansea Canal continues to be an important visitor destination in our community, and a wonderful resource for local residents. This recognition is richly deserved.
Jeremy Miles MS for Neath said: "My huge congratulations to Swansea Canal Society, who have been honoured with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. Well done and thank you to all the volunteers who work tirelessly in regenerating the Swansea canal, both as an asset for active recreation and as a heritage visitor destination."
The Queen’s Award for volunteers recognises the work the society has done in regenerating the Swansea Canal as a community asset for active recreation and as a heritage visitor destination. The Swansea Canal Society is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
Member of the Senedd for Gower, Rebecca Evans, has welcomed the news that Gorseinon and Penyrheol will benefit from part of a £30m Welsh Government investment in local transport improvements across Wales.
Gorseinon and Penyrheol will see improvements worth nearly a million pounds for safer routes within the community, and for road safety.
Rebecca Evans MS said: “This funding is good news. It will support local economic growth as we move into the recovery phase following Covid-19 pandemic, enhancing local transport and creating and improving routes to encourage more of us to walk and cycle.”
Member of the Senedd for Gower, Rebecca Evans MS, is raising awareness that the National Lottery Awards for All, and People and Places fund, remain open to help organisations support their communities through the crisis.
Rebecca Evans MS said: “Organisations across the constituency are doing wonderful work supporting people through this crisis, and this funding can help with that work.
“Applications addressing COVID-19 will be prioritised. These would include support for organisations supporting people who are at high risk from Covid 19, those organisations supporting communities most likely to face increasing demand and challenges as a direct result of measures to prevent the spread of Covid 19, and organisations with high potential to support communities with the direct and indirect impact of Covid 19.
“In this time of uncertainty many organisations which offer so much support for the people of Gower may be facing greater financial concerns, and this funding can help organisations continue their vital role.”
Applications can be made via: www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/wales