As we draw breath after a busy day of Polling Day campaigning for the European elections, it’s really fulfilling to look back at a week that was extremely busy but hugely positive!
I started with a visit to the National Problem Gambling Clinic in Fulham, whose mission is ‘to advance existing models of treatment and develop new models of psychological therapies for gamblers.’ While some of the stories we heard were harrowing, the work being done at the clinic is simply superb, and will make an untold difference to the lives of many people. This visit was part of my ongoing policy work around gambling related harm, and I look forward to working with the team at the clinic in the months ahead.
I also chaired a cross-Party group (APPG) on Home Electrical Safety, where we reviewed evidence received around the issue of online regulation. I’ve been heartened by the level of engagement from many stakeholders, and their responses have helped shape our work plan for future meetings.
On Wednesday, I was in the chair for another APPG – the Children in Wales APPG. It was especially pleasing to have the chance to celebrate 30 years of UNCRC in Wales. Later that day saw the Annual General Meeting of the APPG on Bereavement support, an issue very close to my heart.
Thursday was another busy day. I kicked it off visiting GamCare, who are the leading national provider of free information, advice and support for anyone affected by problem gambling – again as part of my ongoing work on gambling related harm.
On Thursday evening, I was delighted to attend a really special Boss Brewery event in the constituency. As you may have seen in the news, Cefn Coed Hospital has a ‘pub’ – the Derwen Arms – on the male dementia ward, where residents can socialise as they would have done in the past. In honour of the Derwen Arms, Boss Brewery have created their first ever alcohol-free beer, which they launched at the DerwenArms on Thursday, as well as donating supplies for the residents. It was fantastic to be there to see such a moving gesture from a local business to the community.
Inevitably this weekend, much of the focus will be on the outcome of the European Elections, and the fallout from Theresa May’s decision to step down. It’s disappointing that once again, this UK Tory Government is focussed on infighting and self-interest, rather than tackling the problems that their austerity cuts have caused in so many of our communities. But when I look back on weeks like this one, I’m heartened both by what I’ve been able to achieve working with colleagues in Westminster, and by the work that goes on in Swansea East week in, week out. It’s nice to be reminded that however frustrating the headlines, in our constituency, and across Wales, there are people working selflessly every day to improve the lives of others. That’s what gives me hope, and inspires me to do everything I can for the people I represent.
I hope you all enjoy the Bank Holiday Weekend.