Last week, I took the opportunity to spend some time on the Maes at the National Eisteddfod in Boduan, near Pwllheli. The festival – which is considered the largest poetry and music festival in Europe – is a truly remarkable event in the Welsh cultural calendar and it was great to spend some time there and practice my Welsh. While there, I also attended the launch of Camp Cymru – an event which I helped to launch in my role as Deputy Minister for Social Partnership.
Camp Cymru is an event which brings artists, creatives and members of the LGBTQ+ community together to discuss Welsh language queer arts in Wales and it’s funded by the Arts Council of Wales and supported by the Welsh Government. Five years since Mas ar y Maes – a Welsh-medium space for LGBTQ+ inclusion and celebration – was established at the Eisteddfod in Cardiff in 2018, the daylong Camp Cymru event will mark another first as it will be the first national queer arts talk of its kind in Wales – all conducted through the medium of Welsh. The event provided an opportunity to reflect on and discuss recent developments, celebrate and look to the future of the LGBTQ+ community in Wales.
A new campaign was launched last week encouraging parents to get their children’s eyes tested this summer at their local opticians. Research shows that around 20% of school-aged children have an undiagnosed vision problem and regular eye health checks, for both adults and children, can help to prevent or detect a range of eye issues, including glaucoma, diabetes and myopia, earlier. The Help Us Help You optometry campaign is designed to help everyone in Wales – but especially children – to get their eyes checked to help prevent future problems and to ensure they’re getting the most out of school. The NHS will provide glasses for children who need them to help with their vision and eye care treatment for children is free in Wales.
It was good to catch up once again with Theatr Clwyd Executive Director Liam Evans-Ford recently and to see first-hand the work that has now begun on site to transform our theatre thanks to the support of Flintshire County Council, the Arts Council Wales and £22m of Welsh Government investment – all while continuing to put on productions in a temporary theatre and locations in the community. Like many of us, I’ve grown up with Theatr Clwyd and benefited from it being on our doorstep. Since being elected, I’ve worked to shine a spotlight on the jewel in our cultural crown and the need to secure the site for future generations – the work will make sure it continues as a centre of excellence for theatre-making and a focal point for communities across the area for years to come. This is a big project – it has to be – it will change lives, contribute to the economy, nurture artists and creatives, inspire imaginations, support vulnerable people in our community and make amazing theatre happen. See how you can play your part at www.theatrclwyd.com/play-your-part
Finally, I was pleased to see that former Alun School alumnus Kate Eden was appointed the new chair of Amgueddfa Cymru last week. Amgueddfa Cymru – or Museum Wales – is a charity which runs seven national museums across Wales, including the National Museum of History at St Fagans and the Slate Museum in Llanberis, and the organisation does much to show Wales as a diverse nation with a rich history. If you’re planning on a visit to one of Wales’ fantastic national museums this summer, it’s worth noting that, thanks to funding from the Welsh Government, entry is free to all.
And if you’re struggling to find things to do over the summer holidays, it’s worth reminding readers that my office has pulled together a helpful list of all the schemes, clubs and useful contacts to help families in Flintshire get the most out of the holidays and where help might be available. You can see the full list at www.hannahblythyn.cymru/summer-schemes-and-clubs. If you know of anything not included in this list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll make sure it’s added.
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.