I want to send my huge congratulations to staff and students at Ysgol Hendrefelin this week for their accreditation with the prestigious British Council’s International School Award. This award recognises the incredible and innovative work of schools across the UK to connect their pupils to the world through modern languages, classroom exchanges, and connections with young people around the globe. Learning languages is so important – it gives us access to new cultures and ideas and allows us to broaden our understanding of the world. Well done Ysgol Hendrefelin.
I was pleased to chair a debate in Westminster Hall this week on fuel poverty. This always becomes an issue in the lead up to winter, but this year, there will be an added strain on so many tightened household budgets. One of the major obstacles in tackling fuel poverty is the inefficient nature of our older housing. Poorly insulated properties leak heat and so more energy is needed to keep the house warm. As well as supporting those in fuel poverty in the short-term, we really need a national strategy to not only ensure developers are building energy efficient homes, but also that we are supporting homeowners to make their houses more energy efficient. This will not only contribute to lower household bills, but it will also help us reduce our carbon footprint. This is an important issue that intersects the economy, social inequality, and the environment, and one which it is vital that we tackle.
This week is Usdaw’s annual Respect for Shopworkers Week which they run as part of their Freedom From Fear campaign which seeks to tackle the rising problem of violence and abuse towards our fabulous frontline retail workers. Our shopworkers have done so much to keep us well stocked and our morale high during this crisis and I am shocked to see the appalling treatment that many of them have experienced. I am pleased to support this campaign and would encourage all constituents to sign Usdaw’s petition to call on the UK Government to enact legislation to create a specific offence of abusing, threatening, or assaulting a retail worker with a penalty that shows that we are serious about stopping these disgusting attacks.
It’s Anti-Bullying Week this week and it’s important to support the campaign. Bullying can have a long-lasting effect on those who experience and witness it, but by working together, by sharing our experiences, and by educating young people, we can reduce bullying. We all have a part to play – parents, teachers, politicians, celebrities, and young people themselves – we can all speak out against bullying and speak up for those experiencing it.
We marked International Men’s Day this week and it’s a chance to make sure men know that reaching out for help with a physical or mental health problem is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength. In 2017, sadly 12,031 men died from prostate cancer, a rise from 11,307 in 2014. It is so important that men go to their GP when something doesn’t seem right – if problems are caught earlier, they are much easier to deal with. In 2018, it is astonishing that 4,903 men took their own lives – that’s 13 men dying every day, making up 3 in 4 of all suicides in the UK. We need to talk more about men’s mental health and make it clear that there is help available for men. Domestic abuse is another area where men have suffered, and evidence shows 1 in 3 people who experience domestic abuse are men.
As always, if you have any questions or issues and want to get in touch about matters that fall under my work as an MP, please do not hesitate to drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01639 630152. My staff are working from home to comply with the social distancing measures, but, as always, we remain there should you need to get in contact with us.
I hope you stay well, and remember – observe social distancing, wash your hands regularly and keep Wales safe.