Gower AM Rebecca Evans is reminding local young people aged between 11 and 18 to register and vote in the Welsh Youth Parliament elections.
A total of 40 seats are up for grabs with 480 young people standing as candidates, including 10 in Gower. A full list of candidates and their information can be found here -https://www.youthparliament.wales/gower
Voters must register to take part, and more than thirteen thousand 11-18 year olds across Wales have already signed up. It is not too late to register and vote - you just need an email address your postcode, and you will be asked for your date of birth.
You can register here - https://www.mi-nomination.com/wypregister/form/Register
Once elected, Welsh Youth Parliament Members will serve a two-year term.
Another 20 young people will be selected to join the parliament by associated organisations including the Urdd, Girlguiding Cymru and Learning Disability Wales.
Rebecca Evans AM said, “It takes a lot of courage to put yourself forward, and I am wishing all our candidates standing in Gower the very best.
“I have had the pleasure of speaking to some of them about the things they would like to focus on if they are elected, and have shared some of my own experience.
"I would urge anyone who is eligible and hasn't yet registered to vote to visit the Welsh Youth Parliament website to find out who is standing for election in our area and how they intend to represent you."
The anti-poverty charity, the Trussell Trust, has produced its mid-year foodbank statistics from April to September.
They show that across UK, 658,048 three day emergency food supplies were provided by the Trussell Trust Foodbank for people facing crisis, with 48,571 being supplied in Wales. In Wales this shows a concerning rise of 13% as compared to the same period last year.
In Gower alone, 3,258 three day emergency food supplies were provided in these last six months to people in crisis, with 1,138 of which were for children.
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, said: “The Trussell Trust statistics are a stark reminder of how many people in Gower and across Wales are still very much in need of foodbanks - and they reveal that the number is continuing to grow. These facts are a shocking indictment of the UK Government’s austerity agenda.”
The top four reasons for referral to a foodbank in The Trussell Trust network in April – September 2018 were ‘low income – benefits, not earning’, ‘benefit delay’, ‘benefit change’ and ‘debt’.
Rebecca Evans said: “This raises further questions about the chaos of the rolling out of Universal Credit, and the concern of how it will negatively affect claimants over the winter months and beyond. The Welsh Government has repeatedly called for a halt to the process in order for the numerous problems to be addressed.
“Once again, it's the people who have the least who are being hit the hardest.
“There should be no need for anyone to have to rely on foodbanks, but in these difficult times I am very grateful that they are there to help. I wholeheartedly thank the many volunteers who, week in week out, give of their time and resources to meet the needs of our communities."
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, is urging constituents to help their NHS and people with life-threatening conditions by choosing the right health service for their needs.
The AM is supporting the Welsh Governments “Choose Well” campaign. Choose Well will help you decide if you need medical attention if you get sick. It explains what each NHS service does, and when it should be used.
This winter’s campaign includes a focus on the role of community pharmacists across Wales.
Choose Well, Choose Pharmacy this Winter aims to highlight the wide range of services available which people may not be aware of, close to their homes and often at more convenient times in the evenings and weekends.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “The Choose Well campaign is about helping people to choose the right health care setting this winter. Making the right choice of health service and advice will save you time and make sure you and your family get the right care quickly.
“Of course, if you have a serious life-threatening emergency call 999 or go to A&E. But if not, please consider the wide range of other options.
“In many cases, pharmacists can provide confidential advice and treatment without the need to make an appointment.
“Making the right choice not only saves you time and ensures you and your loved ones get the right care quickly but it also helps NHS staff who will be working hard this winter.”
For more information, visit: http://www.choosewellwales.org.uk/home
After joining local residents on a beach clean at Langland Bay, Gower’s AM Rebecca Evans has met with the Marine Conservation Society to discuss the impact of plastic on our oceans, beaches and wildlife.
The Marine Conservation Society focuses on keeping our oceans clean, with the help of volunteers who take part in beach cleans across the country all year round.
Rebecca Evans AM said, “Even when beaches seem clean, you only have to look a little closer to spot the small pieces of plastic that are causing such harm to the marine life off our beautiful coastline. Bottle tops and fishing line were among the big culprits on the Langland beach clean.
“Wales led the way in introducing the charge for carrier bags, dramatically reducing the numbers used, and we are one of the best nations in the world for household recycling. Nonetheless, there is still more to do in order to protect our marine life.”
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM says “Loneliness is a public health risk and we must tackle it.
“Action needs to be taken to tackle loneliness and social isolation, which already impacts 1 in 5 people in Wales and is fast becoming a significant public health issue”
The AM made the comments ahead of the Welsh Government launching a national conversation on what can be done to combat loneliness and social isolation in Wales.
The National Survey for Wales 2016-17 found that 17% of the population of Wales, around 440,000 people, reported being lonely, while younger people were more likely to be lonely than older people: 20% of 16-24 year olds were lonely, compared with 10% of those aged 75 or over.
Loneliness and social isolation can result in a number of physical and psychological problems including premature death, sleep problems, high blood pressure, poor quality of life, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, depression and suicide. Research demonstrates that loneliness has an effect on mortality that is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Mrs Evans added: “Loneliness and isolation is a health problem that affects residents across Gower affecting different groups of people at a variety of stages of life.
“Thanks to Swansea Council, we are fortunate to have a team of excellent Local Area Coordinators who do wonderful work in helping people make meaningful connections in their lives - but this is not an issue that one organisation will solve. That is why I support this national conversation and would ask everyone to take part.”
You can take part here https://beta.gov.wales/connected-communities-tackling-loneliness-and-social-isolation
With winter closing in, Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, is urging residents to make sure their homes are ready for anything the weather might bring.
Last winter, more than 66,000 homes across Wales experienced a boiler breakdown, leaving residents unable to heat their homes. During the Beast from the East, temperatures of below -10°C and wind speeds of over 60mph led to the busiest week on record for British Gas, with 104 calls for assistance coming in every second – thirteen times usual call volumes. Engineers across Wales cancelled their holidays and stayed at home so they could be there for their customers.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “It’s really important to keep a step ahead of winter. I want everyone in Gower to understand what help is available to them, and for their family and friends. Being energy efficient and keeping bills under control is also really important, so I’d encourage people to seek advice from their energy supplier and take practical steps to stay smart with their energy use this winter.”
British Gas Smart Energy Expert, Aled Edwards, said: “There are some really simple steps you can take to help prepare your house for winter and keep everything running like clockwork, but if something does go wrong, we’re always on standby to come to the rescue.”
“Here are some tips I’ve been sharing with my customers to help them keep a step ahead this winter.”
1. Be energy smart: It’s inevitable that our energy use will increase when the heating’s on over winter, but there is a simple way to keep track of how much you’re using – and spending. With smart meters, you’ll be able to see how much energy you’re using in pounds and pence, helping you to identify where you can make savings during peak energy season. To find out more about smart meters just visit: www.britishgas.co.uk/smart.
2. Bleed your radiators: This may seem obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people forget. If you haven’t used the heating for a while, air can enter the system and form bubbles at the top of your radiators, which stops them from working efficiently.
3. Block the breeze: Your windows and doors should seal properly but for those that don’t, there are lots of options to help keep cold air out and warm air in. Fitting draught excluders – available from most DIY stores – is a quick, easy and affordable way to cut down on your energy bills and draught-proof your home. Letterbox brushes, chimney balloons and even keyhole coverings can also make a real difference.
4. Maximise the heat: There’s nothing better than settling down in front of your favourite box set as a family, but before you get too comfortable, think about where your heat sources are. Putting your sofa in front of a radiator may keep the best spot in the house extra toasty, but it will absorb heat that could be warming the rest of the room.
5. Look after your boiler: Stay ahead of the weather and make sure your boiler’s working properly by giving it a workout before the cold weather kicks in. You should also get a Gas Safe engineer to service your boiler annually.
6. Insulate your hot water system: Stopping heat from escaping doesn’t just save you money. When temperatures drop below zero, it’s important to make sure that the water inside your pipes doesn’t freeze and cause them to burst. Lagging materials are available from most DIY stores – an easy, cost-effective solution for protecting your water tank and pipes.
7. Install a carbon monoxide detector: You can’t hear it, see it, taste it or smell it, and it kills around 30 people a year. Fortunately, carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable. Faulty central heating systems are one of the most common sources of carbon monoxide in the home – as well getting your boiler checked once a year, it’s essential to have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted. Available through British Gas or from your local DIY store, the detectors last between five and seven years, so check yours is in date and test it to be certain it’s working.
8. Make the most of soft furnishings: Hanging curtains and placing rugs on hard floors are some of the simplest and most effective ways to keep your home warm this winter. Thick material (the thicker the better) prevents heat from being lost through windows and doors – just don’t forget to open your curtains during the day so that the sun can do some of the work!
9. Use tech to control your heating remotely: Ever thought about controlling your heating and hot water remotely from your smartphone? With Hive Active Heating, you can turn the heating on when you’re coming home from work, so the house warms up in time for your arrival – equally, if you’re running late for any reason, having the flexibility to control your heating on the go means you’ll never waste money on energy you’re not using. To find out more, visit: www.britishgas.co.uk/hive.
10. Get the help you’re entitled to: It’s worth finding out if you’re eligible for extra assistance with your energy bills, especially at this time of year. £140 winter rebates are available through the Warm Home Discount scheme, and face-to-face advice, financial support and grants are available from the British Gas Energy Trust (even if you’re not a British Gas customer). Customers who need an extra hand with the practical side of things can sign up to be on the Priority Services Register, for additional services such as different bill formats and advanced warnings if their energy supply is facing disruption.
Gower Assembly Member, Rebecca Evans AM, has shown her support for NHS workers in Wales who diagnose, treat and care for people affected by cancer at a Cancer Research UK event in Cardiff Bay.
The event marked the 70th birthday of the NHS and the contribution made by doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals across the field of cancer.
Every year, over 19,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Wales and as the population grows and ages, that number is only set to rise.
Rebecca Evans AM said: “Everyone will be affected by cancer in some way. Around half of us will be diagnosed in our lifetimes.
“We all want a world-class service where people are given every opportunity to survive this devastating disease, for it to be diagnosed early and for patients to receive the best treatment possible. That’s why I’m backing Cancer Research UK’s call to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS against cancer.”
Andy Glyde, public affairs manager for Wales at Cancer Research UK, said: “By 2034, our ambition is for 3 in 4 people to survive their cancer, but advances in technology and treatment mean nothing if we don’t have the NHS staff to deliver them.
“That’s why the support of AM’s like Mrs Evans is so vitally important to help make Wales’ cancer services the best in the world.”
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, is encouraging residents in her constituency to find out more about adoption.
To mark the start of National Adoption Week (15th – 21st October), the AM has paid tribute to the many adoptive parents across Swansea who have made new families with some of the most vulnerable children in the country, and who are supporting them to fulfil their potential in loving homes.
In Wales, more than 300 children found new families in 2017/18 and for one third, this was as part of a sibling group. During this period 212 adopters were approved in 2017/18. However more adopters are needed in Wales. As of June 2018 there were 314 children waiting to be adopted.
Rebecca Evans AM said:
“National adoption week is an opportunity to pay tribute to families right across Swansea who have adopted a child or a group of children, and all those professionals who support them through the journey. Their decision to adopt and the commitment they have shown helps to give vulnerable children a new start.”
To find out more, visit the National Adoption service website at www.adoptcymru.com
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, is supporting Breast Cancer Now’s wear it pink fundraiser again this year. The fundraising day takes place on Friday 19 October to raise money for vital breast cancer research.
Rebecca Evans, who is a Breast Cancer Now Ambassador, is encouraging her constituents in Gower to join her, alongside thousands of others across the UK, to sign up and take part in wear it pink which takes place during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and to date has raised over £31million towards Breast Cancer Now’s important work.
Anyone can take part in wear it pink, whether at work, school or in your community. All you need to do is wear something pink, or hold a pink themed event, and donate to Breast Cancer Now. With every penny raised, fundraisers across the UK will be helping the charity achieve its aim that, if we all act now, by 2050 everyone who develops breast cancer will live, and live well.
Mrs Evans, said: “Breast cancer is still the most common form of cancer in the UK.
“Each year around 11,500 women and 80 men lose their lives to the disease. That’s why I’m so passionate about encouraging constituents to take part in wear it pink day on Friday 19 October.
“As a Breast Cancer Now Ambassador I am proud to raise awareness of the impact of the disease locally, and to support and advocate for Breast Cancer Now’s research.”
For further information, please contact:
Jo Matthews, Breast Cancer Now on 020 7749 4115 or firstname.lastname@example.org (or 07436 107914 if out-of-hours).
Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, is encouraging constituents to contact their energy supplier to get a smart meter fitted in their homes at no extra cost, so that they can take control of how much energy they are using.
Rebecca Evans AM said, “By getting a smart meter from your energy supplier at no extra cost, you’ll be able to see in pounds and pence how much gas and electricity you’re using, helping you identify where you’re wasting energy and where you can save money.”
Mrs Evans attended an event in which Smart Energy GB demonstrated that the typical annual energy savings from having a smart meter installed could save a single household enough energy to make 20,000 cups of instant coffee a year.
Notes to editors:
Calculations available from Smart Energy GB upon request.