The beginning of September usually marks a special time in the lives of children across the country, where they join other children to start the academic year ahead. For many children, and parents, this can be an extremely exciting but also anxious time. Naturally this September is different, as the pressures and risks of coronavirus continue to play a part in our daily lives.

The Welsh Government is committed to doing all they can to ensure that schools continue to be safe spaces, both for school staff and pupils, and I share that commitment. Following further technical advice the Welsh Government has updated their guidance to local authorities and schools, regarding the wearing of face coverings in school settings. This includes on school transport and they are encouraging families to consider the most appropriate, and safest way for children and young people to travel to and from school.

If any parent, child or young person, has queries or concerns about the return to school then I would encourage them to get in touch with me and I will do all I can to support them and help them find the answers to their questions.

The same applies to the staff who are key to ensuring that our schools can operate as safe, positive environments for our future generations. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you have done and continue to do. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, then please get in touch and I will do all I can to support you to feel safe in your work place.

Though we have seen restrictions easing for a number of months now, with many aspects of life adapting to a “new normal”, it is vital that we continue to practice social distancing and good hand hygiene. These measures are key to ensuring that we prevent the spread of coronavirus as much as possible, keeping ourselves, our loved ones and our NHS as safe as possible.

The measures which the Welsh Government has put in place across public spaces, including shops, bars and restaurants, are there for everyone’s safety. The Test, Trace and Protect scheme is another key part in fighting coronavirus, allowing local authorities and the NHS, to trace potential infections and keep as many people as possible, as safe as possible. If any constituent, whether they are a customer or a member of staff, has concerns about the safety measures which are, or aren’t, in place, then please get in touch.

Last week I was able to visit Holywell Market and see first-hand the hard work of volunteers and the Town Council to bring the market back to life safely. This also gave me the opportunity to visit the recycled uniform stall, led by Town Mayor Linda Carter. Taking the opportunity to both recycle old uniform and make it more affordable for families, any money raised is invested back into our local schools which is just fantastic.

For children starting school for the first time, or a new key stage, there is support for families on low income, to help them purchase uniform and other school equipment through the Welsh Government’s Pupil Development Grant. If you require additional support then please get in touch and I will do my best to signpost you to any support which you may be eligible for.

Many Leader readers may have already received their copy of my summer newsletter, updating constituents on the work I have been doing as your Member of the Senedd. Whilst the circumstances, and the weather, allow I’ll be getting out and about with my team to deliver the update to homes across the entire constituency. If you have any questions about my work, or if there is anything which I can be of assistance with, then please do get in touch by emailing or calling my office on 01352 762102.

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