Here’s my latest South Wales Argus ‘Your MP Writes’ column:
WITH the COVID-19 crisis upon us, I know we are all aware more than ever before of the enormous debt of gratitude we owe for the ongoing commitment of public sector and key workers – including our wonderful NHS staff, emergency service workers, retail staff and more – who are working phenomenally hard to look after us.
At this extremely difficult time the Welsh Government and UK Government advice is stark and clear: to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.
Our public services will be under unprecedented pressure in the weeks to come, particularly here in Gwent where we have been hit so fast already.
They will be clearly prioritising critical services and will therefore need our understanding when they are not able to provide all they normally do.
It is at times like this we must remember how important and supportive our communities are.
Many of you have already reached out to families and friends and this spirit will be needed in the weeks to come.
Many constituents in Newport East have contacted me to ask about how they can help others who are more vulnerable than themselves during these challenging times, and I’m very grateful that volunteer networks are being set up to help the community effort in Newport and Monmouthshire.
Newport Council are currently working with GAVO on a volunteer support network, which you can find out more about at www.newport.gov.uk/en/Care-Support/Volunteers
Monmouthshire Council are also working on a volunteer’s action programme – you can find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
There are other volunteering opportunities available with British Red Cross, who are looking for community reserve volunteers – you can find out more at www.redcross.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/volunteer-in-emergencies
Age Cymru have also organised a ‘check in and chat’ scheme to support older people who are self-isolating.
All residents need to do is register with the scheme either by telephone or by email and someone from Age Cymru will check in with them every day.
To find out more call 08000 223 444 or visit: www.ageuk.org.uk/cymru/information-advice/age-cymru-advice/check-in-and-chat/
I know this will be a worrying time for all of us, and we will all want to look after loved ones, friends and neighbours who are elderly and vulnerable.
With information on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak often changing rapidly, it’s important that we follow the advice of experts in the UK Government, Welsh Government and Public Health Wales.
If you have any urgent questions or issues then please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing me at email@example.com.
Stay safe and take care.