Breakfast run with the Wallich’s Rough Sleepers Intervention Team

Breakfast run with Wallich

I am very grateful to the Wallich’s Rough Sleeper’s Intervention Team for allowing me to go along on their early morning round of breakfast delivery.

We provided much needed and appreciated bacon rolls, boiled eggs, pot noodles, tea and hot chocolate to couples in tents and single rough sleepers under a variety of improvised shelters. The support workers had obviously built relationships of trust and were able to refer homeless people to potential accommodation, health services and a range of other help and support.

Their work is vitally important for the vulnerable in society and to prevent continuing and worsening situations in our communities. It was heartening to witness their commitment and the great value of their efforts – and also to hear from rough sleepers of the experiences and issues they face.

I will be raising a number of matters with Welsh Government and others following the breakfast run.

For more information about the Wallich Newport’s Rough Sleeper’s Intervention Team, please contact: The Wallich, Newport RSIT,192 Commercial Road, Newport or call 01633 251577.
If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough, please contact Streetlink at

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Meeting with The Wallich

I was glad to meet with The Wallich to discuss rough sleeping and provisions for homeless people in Newport.


The number of people sleeping rough in our city is on the increase. It is vital that we aim to help the most vulnerable in society.

The Wallich provided the statistics below outlining figures surrounding rough sleeping in Newport.


The Wallich recommended contacting Streetlink if you are concerned about a rough sleeper.
Streetlink can then let the agencies that can help know that someone may need assistance and advice.

Streetlink can be contacted on 0300 500 0914

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Wales a ‘nation of sanctuary’ for refugees

I had the opportunity to speak this morning on BBC Wales’s ‘Good Morning Wales’ programme about ensuring that our country is a nation of sanctuary for refugees and asylum seekers.


The Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee, which I chair, have heard that one in every 113 people is either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum. While we already give vulnerable people a warm welcome in Wales, the Committee’s findings propose improvements in the support, advice and services we offer those who have been displaced through no fault of their own.

We can help repair the damage done by war and conflict and help displaced refugees rebuild their lives again.

For the full interview please listen from 43 minutes into the programme which is available here:

Here is the Wales Online article on the Committee’s proposals:



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Rainbow Newport’s Transgender Day of Visibility, March 31st 2017

I was pleased to attend Rainbow Newport’s Transgender Day of Visibility event on March 31st.
Rainbow Newport working in partnership with SEWREC, Newport Mind and Gwent Victim Support held an informal drop-in session to offer support and advice but also to send a clear message of support to the Trans* community in Newport.

This year has seen Rainbow Newport grow from strength to strength.
In January, the group held the first LGBT*+ conference in the city at the Riverfront Arts Centre which was a great success.  The event included workshops, panel discussions and a political election debate.
For more information on Rainbow Newport, please visit their Facebook page here: or follow them on Twitter @RainbowNewport

We need to continue to raise awareness of Trans* issues in Newport.

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You will be aware of the Assembly election on 5th May. I am standing for re-election as Assembly Member for Newport East and hope to be re-elected.

From April 6th there will officially be no Assembly Members as the Assembly will be dissolved until after the election. However, if you have any outstanding casework with my office, my staff will continue to be able to work on that during the election period.

As there will be no Assembly Members officially from April 6th until after the election, I will not be able to offer surgeries as an Assembly Member during the period April 6th to May 5th.

If you wish to get in touch, please contact the campaign office, Ringland Labour Club, NP19 9AA, or phone 07821 476171.

Best Wishes


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AM welcomes Welsh Government response to museum review

Newport East AM John Griffiths has praised the Welsh Government for its ‘proactive’ response to an independent review of local museum provision in Wales. Among the recommendations of the review – published by an expert panel of curators and trustees of the National Museum Wales – are calls for Wales-wide clarity on museum charges, and the creation of three regional bodies to support museum management.

The Welsh Government was the first in the UK to develop a national strategy for museums, and it is good to see full engagement with the recommendations of this independent review, which presents stimulating ideas on how we can continue to support the excellent network of local museums we have in Wales. I wholly agree with the Welsh Government Minister for Culture Ken Skates that local museums across Wales are custodians of our nation’s most iconic and fragile heritage, and we need to do all we can to protect these institutions for the benefit of current and future generations.

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Newport AM backs campaign to eradicate cervical cancer

I have voiced my support for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’s campaign to eradicate cervical cancer in the UK.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the UK’s only charity dedicated to women, their families and friends affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. The charity raises awareness about how cervical cancer can be prevented, campaigns for the best care and treatment and provides support for those affected.

Every day in the UK eight women are given a diagnosis of cervical cancer and three women lose their lives to this largely preventable disease. The UK has a cervical screening programme that saves approximately 5,000 lives a year. However, over 22% of women still do not attend their cervical screening when invited, with greater variances amongst older and younger women.

It is worrying that the number of women attending screening is at its lowest since 1998 and we are seeing increasing numbers of those diagnosed with cervical cancer. As a result, raising public awareness of cervical cancer prevention must be a priority.

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