It’s been a busy week this week! On Monday I met again with Tatiana Gren-Jardan who is the Head of the Modern Slavery Unit at the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ). It’s really important that during the recovery from Covid we continue to fight against modern slavery and the criminals who commit this appalling crime. The CSJ estimates that there are around 100,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK – 100,000 people who are exploited and forced into labour in poor conditions without pay or protection. This should not be happening in the UK in 2020 and we must ensure that despite the challenges ahead of us in the wake of the pandemic, we continue to put the resources necessary into tackling this problem.
On Tuesday, I was pleased to be a panellist at the Dods Public Affairs Virtual Conference for “An afternoon interview with Carolyn Harris MP and the House magazine – Successfully driving legislative change”. The pandemic has brought home the importance of messaging, advocacy, and connections in a virtual world and the importance of the work of government and international cooperation. Despite Coronavirus, we still have to continue working on the issues that impact people, such as reducing inequality, improving access to education, training, and good jobs, and tackling issues such as modern slavery and domestic abuse. It was good to chat about how best to do that.
I was pleased to speak at a Co-operative Party event on grief, loss, and the impact of Covid-19 this week. During National Grief Awareness Week it’s important that we remember – especially in the face of a pandemic – to take the time we need to grieve the losses we’ve had. Grief is often a difficult topic to talk about – sometimes people struggle to know what to say to people who have experienced loss and so avoid it. But we have to talk about it, we have to talk about the difficult things, and we have to help one another find the support that is needed to cope with grief. I was able to talk about my campaign for the Children’s Funeral Fund – something that is deeply personal and that I am incredibly proud of.
I was pleased to pop over to Swansea Station to see the work on renewing platform 4 and to meet the team. I am delighted to see the refurbishment work that is happening at the station to improve the experience for passengers, and hope that with news of a vaccine being approved, it won’t be long until we can welcome back all the visitors that come to Swansea to see our beautiful part of the world. Thank you to everyone who is working so hard at the station!
Our Everyone Deserves A Christmas campaign is well underway and we are so pleased to have had Michael Sheen open our auction for us! We have some fantastic memorabilia and experiences to bid on, including a signed Gareth Bale Tottenham football shirt and a signed Ospreys shirt and a tour of Swansea City’s training ground! You can see all the fabulous items and bid on them here: https://bidaid.com/auction/faith. It’s all for a wonderful cause, so please do get bidding – the auction closes on Saturday!
Saturday is also Small Business Saturday and in 2020 our fabulous small businesses have had an incredibly difficult year. Our small businesses truly are the backbone of our local communities – they provide services and products to us, they contribute hugely to the local economy, and they bring life and vibrancy to our high streets. I hope everyone will use their local businesses as much as possible for their Christmas shopping – online shopping is very easy, but if we don’t support our small businesses, they won’t survive and we will miss them if we lose them. Especially given the fabulous presents we can get here in Swansea, from hand carved love spoons to locally made gin! Cheers!
You can keep up to date with Welsh Government announcements and information on their dedicated coronavirus page. 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 – my team and I are here to help. And remember – observe social distancing, wash your hands regularly and keep Wales safe!