It’s been a difficult week for all of us, and I know that many constituents are concerned about more challenges to come. I’ve been in constant contact with Shadow Cabinet colleagues to ensure that we are working with the UK Government to support the measures to try to slow the spread of coronavirus, and to highlight the gaps in provision to ensure that everyone is looked after during this crisis.
As you will know, schools have now closed across the country, except to children of key workers or those children who are considered vulnerable. If your child falls into these categories, or if you are not sure whether or not they do, please contact your school’s administration for more information as soon as possible, to help you plan for your family.
I know parents will now be worried about how to keep their children entertained, while also worrying about the impact of this break on their children’s education. Many of you will have received work from school, but there are also resources online, such as BBC Bitesize, that cater for primary, secondary, and post-16 learners. It is also important to remember that children pick up on anxiety in the home and there is so much information on the TV and the internet that even younger children will have an idea that something isn’t right. So do try to keep some routine to keep a semblance of normality, with dedicated times for learning, playing, and, very importantly, some exercise.
All of us, young and old, need some form of exercise each day to keep our bodies and minds healthy. We are lucky really, to live in such a beautiful part of the world with easy access to areas where we can walk, run, skip, and jump! It’s of course vital to be mindful of Government advice on social distancing – I cannot emphasise that enough, and you should keep up with the guidance here: Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults.
However, as long as we are mindful of the guidance many of us will still be able to get out into the fresh air. Do make sure children are getting the exercise they need (and hopefully tire them out a bit!) while also getting the family out of the house for a short while.
I know many constituents are concerned about how they’re going to get by if they have to self-isolate or if the work dries up. The UK and Welsh Governments have made changes to statutory sick pay so that it is payable from the first day, scrapped business rates for the year, and implemented a three-month mortgage holiday. However, constituents who are self-employed or on contracts without statutory sick pay and who live in rental accommodation will be concerned that they are not covered by these measures. The UK Government have said that they will make welfare support quickly accessible for those who need it and we in the Labour Party are urgently asking for more clarity on exactly what this will mean.
For all up-to-date information on the impact of coronavirus on housing, education, and business and any other questions you may have, the Welsh Government website has dedicated information here.
As always, if you have any questions or issues and want to get in touch, please do not hesitate to drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01639 630152. Myself and my staff are of course subject to the same restrictions and challenges as other families, but we are here to help in whatever way we can.
Keep safe, look after each other and above all – keep washing your hands!