First things first, a very Happy New Year all! I hope you had a peaceful and enjoyable Christmas and start to the new decade(!) I wish you all the best for the year ahead.
As I’ve said previously, the result of the General Election was incredibly disappointing but on a personal note I want to thank everyone who voted to return me as your MP for Swansea East. I will continue to work hard for everyone across our communities, regardless of who you voted for. I look forward to continuing my work representing all of the amazing people that live in Swansea East, whether that be in the constituency or in Westminster.
On that note, Parliament returned this week and I began the new year by meeting with Unison Wales and their Regional Secretary, Tanya Palmer, to discuss menopause policies in workplaces across Wales. We also chatted about strategies as to how we can continue to raise awareness of this issue because too many employers and people across our society don’t give the issues people encounter during the menopuause a fair hearing. This is such an important campaign to ensure that women are supported in the workplace so that they can continue to enjoy work and be the productive while also being valued and supported through what can be a challenging stage of any woman’s life.
Unison are supporting the Pausitivity campaign that aims to see the #KnowYourMenopause poster displayed in every GP surgery around the country. Most of us probably know the signs of a heart attack or stroke, know the fundamentals of good diet and exercise, and know the importance of childhood vaccinations from seeing the information displayed when we are sat in those waiting rooms. But how many of us understand the symptoms of the menopause? It’s so important that we get rid of the taboo surrounding the menopause and support workplaces to introduce policies that will make sure older women’s health is no longer ignored but supported. Pausitivity have a printable poster on their website here in English, Welsh, and Urdu which they are asking people to display. You could also become part of the #PausitivityPals Hall of Fame by taking a #PosterSelfie and posting it on your social media feeds to help raise awareness and support women’s health.
On Wednesday, news broke about the appalling decision by the Football Association to agree a streaming deal with Bet365. Despite positive indications three years ago that they would distance themselves from the gambling industry when they ended their sponsorship deal with Ladbrokes, all of last week’s 32 fixtures were streamed through Bet365, with only two being broadcast free-to-air on the BBC and four on subscription channel BT Sport. In order to watch the matches on Bet365, fans either had to place a bet or open an account with a £5 deposit. Throughout the matches, betting odds appeared on the screen tempting viewers to put money on any number of bets. The truly ridiculous and shameful part of all this is that Prince William, the FA’s President and passionate mental health campaigner, appeared in videos before all kick-offs to publicise his mental health campaign. The links between poor mental health and gambling have been well publicised and researched and it is astounding that the FA have accepted this irresponsible deal. Their decision has received cross-party condemnation and many charities have also spoken out. I will continue to call on the FA to review their decision until they do so. You can read the full article on this issue here. I also secured an Urgent Question on this news in the House of Commons on Thursday. You can view part of this debate here or read the full transcript here.
As always, if you have any issues or concerns to raise with me as your local MP, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01792 462054.
I hope you all have a great weekend!