As we all start to return to school and work after the summer – and back to the Senedd after recess next week – I’d like to begin this week’s column by wishing all our learners, teachers and other school staff the very best for the academic year ahead. Even though my work as a member of the Senedd and as a minister continues all year round, it’ll be good to get back into the Siambr again and I have more local visits planned as well.
September is World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, a time when people from all over the world unite to raise awareness and to challenge the stigma that persists around Alzheimer’s and all types of dementia. Sadly, we may all know of someone affected by or caring for a person with dementia – globally, there are nearly 50 million people living with dementia and, here in Wales, it’s estimated that there are nearly 47,000 older people suffering from the condition. As Wales’ population gets older, it’s estimated that dementia will become an increasing issue in our society and that’s why the Welsh Government published a Dementia Action Plan back in 2018, which is due to be updated this year.
Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia and is an overall term for conditions that occur when the brain no longer functions as it should. Here in Flintshire, there are many organisations and events geared towards people with dementia and their carers and my team has put together a list of them at www.hannahblythyn.cymru/world-alzheimers-awareness-month. If you know of any others that we’ve missed, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll make sure it’s added.
Last week, the Welsh Government launched its autumn Covid and flu vaccination programme and, following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation – which advises all the UK nations on vaccination issues – this year the eligibility criteria has changed slightly, although school-aged children, carers and many healthcare workers are included along with anyone clinically vulnerable and all people over 65. The autumn programme starts on September 11 and it’s essential to get your top-up vaccination to help keep Wales safe this winter – Covid hasn’t gone away and I urge everyone eligible to take advantage of both the Covid and flu vaccines available, which can both be done at the same time.
Back in Flintshire at the weekend, I enjoyed watching the Flint Town United Ladies FC match in the sunshine as they beat Kinmel Bay FC 3-0 at the Essity Stadium. It’s a great start to the season for the team and best of luck to all our local teams as the new season kicks off after the summer. It’s also worth remembering that the Rugby World Cup kicks off this Friday in France, with Wales’ first game against Fiji on Sunday. Pob lwc 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.