This week started with one of the best tasks of the year – announcing the winner of my annual Christmas card competition. The year’s winner (featuring two footprints with reindeer horns) was designed by 10-year-old Nancy Thomas who attends Ysgol Pen Coch in Flint.

I was delighted to receive so many entries from schools across the constituency. Pupils from Ysgol Merllyn in Bagillt, Argoed High School in Mold, Trelawnyd VA School in Trelawnyd and Ysgol Croes Atti in Flint all submitted entries, along with Ysgol Pen Coch.

It was incredibly hard to pick a winner but Nancy’s simple but striking design hit the right note for me this year. It was a pleasure to visit the school this week to see the joy on Nancy’s face at being announced as the winner. Her design will be winging its way to constituents, colleagues and organisations across the constituency, across Wales and beyond, so she should be rightly proud of her achievement.

Work in my office to organise ‘Christmas cheer’ boxes to make Christmas that little bit better for local families is continuing ahead of the festive holiday period.

This is the second year that I have organised an initiative to help hard-hit families and constituents who are facing challenges in the run up to Christmas.

Last year my Christmas hamper appeal received enough support and donated items to provide ‘Christmas dinner in a box’ to 50 families.

This year’s ‘Christmas cheer’ boxes will go to around 200 households – largely thanks to a very generous donation of £2,000 by local Flint business Polyroof. It is great to see a local business giving back to the community as this can be a stressful time for families – especially this Christmas season after the £20 cut in Universal Credit, the increase in national insurance payments and rapidly rising energy and food prices. The cardboard boxes themselves have been donated by another local business, Smurfitt Kappa in Mold and I would like to thank them for their contribution too.

The boxes will contain treats including chocolates, selection boxes, mince pies, biscuits, Christmas pudding, cheese and crackers among other items.

The plan is for them to be distributed by volunteers in the week before Christmas.

Sadly, as you will have seen, we have now registered the first few cases of the Omicron virus in Wales and transmission is expected to spread rapidly.

I would like to encourage all constituents to take up their booster vaccine when they are offered an appointment. Constituents are being offered jabs by age category as with previous doses. To date, 892,287 people have so far had their booster dose of the vaccine according to the latest figures from Public Health Wales.

There is all the information you need on how to get your vaccine on the Welsh Government website here:

As ever it is up to us all to do what we can to minimise the spread of the virus and keep Wales safe – such as taking frequent lateral flow tests and working from home where possible.

This week I am very much looking forward to attending the Police Federation’s National Bravery Awards.

I will be attending in my capacity as a Welsh Government deputy minister. I’m looking forward to hearing the stories of all the nominees – there are 81 nominees from 40 police forces across Wales and England.

In particular I will be hoping to meet PC Josh Stocker from North Wales police who has been nominated for crawling into a burning bungalow on his hands and knees to try to save an elderly woman. It was a harrowing incident for PC Stocker and his colleagues as the pensioner he rescued later died in hospital, despite valiant attempts by medics to save her. But Josh’s actions, along with that of his colleague on the scene, were no doubt brave and selfless. I wish him the best of luck at the awards, along with all the other nominees.

Get in touch and I’ll do my best to help

If you have an issue you’d like to speak to me about, I will do my best to help.

You can drop me a line by emailing or get in touch by using the contact form on my website:

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