After last week’s Half Term recess, it’s back to business at the Senedd. This week mark’s the annual period of remembrance, where we reflect, remember and recognise those who have served, those who continue to serve and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our communities and our country. As the Deputy Minister for Social Partnership I will be leading the Senedd debate on Remembrance this year. For many in the serving and veterans’ community, as the Last Post is sounded and the two minutes’ silence follows there will be a particular face or faces that may come to mind.
In communities across the country, there will be people who are remembered. I know that there are people thinking of loved ones as well as people they’ve never met, including in Ukraine, in Israel and in Gaza. Recent events sadly serve to reinforce the distress and grief that warfare inflicts on people. As we pay tribute to those who have served and sacrificed on this Remembrance Day, and on Remembrance Sunday, let us never forget that these were people who volunteered to embark on their military careers, believing that what they were going to do would make a difference for our country and protect our freedoms. There will be services across Flintshire on Remembrance Day, this Saturday, and services on Remembrance Sunday.
Age Cymru, alongside the Welsh Government, have published their ‘Winter Wrapped Up’ guide, which explains what you can do to get yourself and your home ready for winter and how to stay warm, safe and well through cold weather. The guide also includes information on organisations and services you can contact for more advice and support. It is incredibly important to look after your health and keep yourself warm, as low temperatures can raise blood pressure. I am encouraging readers to reach out to older members of our community and be ‘a good neighbour’. If you know of any warm initiatives happening in your local community over the autumn and winter period, let them know and if you need the support go yourself. Find out what financial support you might be entitled to, call Age Cymru Advice on 0300 303 44 98 Monday’s to Friday’s between 9am and 4pm, alternatively get in touch with my office and we can point you in the right direction. You can read more about staying warm this winter via my website and can read the ‘Winter Wrapped Up’ guide.
I was proud to launch this years Living Wage Week. The launch event held at Cardiff University’s Sbarc, the first Real Living Wage building in Wales, is an annual event whose purpose is to raise awareness of the Real Living Wage, celebrate its impact, and promote further adoption. The 2024 Living Wage rate was published on 24 October at £12 per hour, whilst potentially leading to an affordability challenge for some employers, it will undoubtedly make a real difference to the lives of thousands of workers who work for Real Living Wage employers in Wales. This year’s Living Wage Week is takes place between 6th and 10th November, and during that week there will be various events, where many will be able to come together to celebrate the successes, such as the Real Living Wage accreditation is growing in Wales.
Last week, I visited the Table at St Peter’s Church in Rosehill, Holywell, an initiative led by Father Dominic Cawdell which offers hot meals prepared by volunteers, to present them with my October Community Champion Award. It was good to see such a great community-led scheme go from strength to strength – it started as a £2 food club during the pandemic and can now have as many as 200 people to cater for. For many, the Table offers a lifeline and a chance to connect with others as well as stock up on some essentials through the foodbank that’s been running there. I’m always on the lookout for new Community Champions who deserve to be recognised for the work they do in our communities, so if you can think of anyone suitable you can nominate them on my website at www.hannahblythyn.cymru.
As always, if you would like advice and/or support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on any of the following contact details – 52 High Street, Mold, Flintshire, on 01352 753464 or by email email@example.com. You can also keep up to date via my Facebook page – www.facebook.com/HannahBlythynForDelyn. Constituents are, of course, welcome to contact my office to arrange an appointment to see me, you don’t need to wait until an advice surgery.