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Neighbourhood Food Collection launch

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L to R: Jordan Lucas, Amber Carpenter, Nia Griffith MP, Claire Childs, Miriam Evans, James Cannings, Jan Lang, Matthew Price, Keith Davies AM and Lee Waters

LLANELLI politicians lent their support to the seventh Neighbourhood Food Collection, which launched in Tesco stores across the country last weekend (Dec 5-6) . The Neighbourhood Food Collection, run by Tesco with partner charities, The Trussell Trust and FareShare, is aiming to provide at least five million meals to people in need this winter as both charities see increased use by families struggling to put food on the table, making it the biggest collection yet. Nia Griffith MP and Keith Davies AM visited the Llanelli Tesco Store to lend their support during the collection of food for one of Llanelli’s food banks.

Nia Griffith said: “It’s a crying shame that in 2015 we need food banks but they have become a lifeline to many people. I would like to thank the hard working volunteers who work tirelessly for the Trussell Trust. “We helped highlight the need for donations on this occasion in Tesco’s, but without the year-long dedication of people like Amber Carpenter, Claire Childs and Miriam Evans (to name but a few) who run the food bank at Myrtle House in Llanelli, organisations like the Trussell Trust would simply not be able to operate successfully and do the good work that they do.”

Keith Davies said: “I have supported the work of all local foodbanks in Llanelli as they support so many people in the Llanelli area who are struggling to make ends meet. I would like to encourage anyone who can afford to, to consider buying some extra items as part of the regular shop to donate to the cause this Christmas. We shouldn’t need to have foodbanks but as times continue to be tough for some , it is up to all of us to come together to support people in need” Since the Neighbourhood Food Collections were launched in 2012, over 27.5 million meals – including a 30% top-up from Tesco – have been donated to people in need by generous Tesco customers.

Tesco is hoping that the latest collection will take the total number of meals donated since the collection began beyond 30 million. As with previous collections, Tesco will add an extra 30% to all customer donations in the form of financial support to the two charities, helping them expand their network and reach more people in need. Examples of how the charities have previously used the Tesco top-up funding include paying for a foodbank warehouse manager, buying essential items in short supply or funding petrol and vehicle costs.

Since 2012 the topup has resulted in combined funding of over £3.6 million to FareShare and The Trussell Trust. Rebecca Shelley, Group Communications Director for Tesco said: “It’s wonderful to see the generosity of our customers every time we run the Neighbourhood Food Collection. “Every little help can make a big difference, and it’s even more important to donate during the winter because our charity partners often see increased demand for their services during the colder months. This is now our seventh collection and we want to keep up the momentum we’ve built throughout the Neighbourhood Food Collections so far.”

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare, said: “It doesn’t need to take much, sadly, for an individual or a family to start struggling and experience hard times. The Neighbourhood Food Collection really helps us in our work to provide good food to 2,135 amazing frontline organisations which support people who are struggling to feed themselves. Part of that support comes in the way of good nutritious meals, often the first step in helping those vulnerable people back on their feet.” The Neighbourhood Food Collection relies on, and is bolstered by volunteers. During last winter’s collection in November 2014, approximately 20,000 volunteers across the UK were involved.”

David McAuley, CEO of The Trussell Trust said: “The Trussell Trust has seen huge rises in referrals to foodbanks in recent years, and it’s surprising how fast a crisis can strike. We’ve seen professionals like nurses and teachers referred to foodbanks – people who you might not expect to need help. Many households are managing their finances perfectly well on a day-to-day basis, but as soon as an unexpected bill or cost comes in, such as a broken boiler or funeral costs, the impact on finances can be devastating. Often, a referral to the foodbank helps people to bridge the gap when the unexpected hits and gives them the breathing room to break out of crisis. Winter is often the hardest time of year for people in poverty, with many having to choose between heating and eating. That’s why we’re so grateful for the food donations from Tesco shoppers which will help stop hunger this Christmas.”

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Health

Those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster should get jabbed by end of June

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ALL those eligible for the Spring Covid-19 booster are being urged to take up their offer of the vaccine before the end of next month.

A deadline of 30 June has been introduced to ensure all those eligible for the spring booster will have a long-enough interval between this and the autumn 2022 booster, if they are also eligible.

An announcement by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) about which groups will be eligible for the autumn booster is due to be published shortly.

The JCVI has advised that people over-75, older care home residents and all those aged 12 years and over who are immunosuppressed are eligible for the spring booster.

Those who are 75 on or before 30 June, can get their booster at any point up to the deadline.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “It is important we continue our very high take up levels of the vaccine to help protect us against the risk of serious illness from Covid-19. I would urge everyone who is offered a spring booster vaccination takes up the invitation.”

If someone eligible for a spring booster has had a Covid infection recently, they will need to wait 28 days from the date they tested positive before they can be vaccinated. They will still be able to get vaccinated after 30 June as part of this campaign if they have to postpone their appointment.

All those eligible for spring boosters will be invited by their health board or GP.

It is not too late for anyone who needs a primary dose (first, second or third) to be vaccinated.

Please check for local arrangements.

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Health

Young people in Wales being failed when moving from child to adult mental health services

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MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES are failing young people when they move from child to adult services, says a mental health charity.

Mind Cymru is calling for Welsh Government to make urgent changes to improve the system.

Nia Evans, Children and Young People Manager at Mind Cymru, said: “Young people have told us that their needs, thoughts, and feelings about moving to adult services are often unheard, or ignored.

“Welsh Government must support Local Health Boards to make sure this doesn’t happen, change the way services are run and make sure our young people are being heard and properly cared for.”

Mind Cymru has published a report, in ate the result of interviews with young people about their experiences of moving from Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – (SCAMHS) to AMHS.

They highlighted five key areas where services are failing young people:
– Poor information offered to young people, particularly on their rights
– Inconsistent use and follow through of care and treatment plans
– High thresholds for SCAMHS and AMHS referrals to be accepted
– Feeling abandoned / cut off from SCAMHS
– Age still dominates decision making process for moving from SCAMHS to AMHS

Nia Evans said: “Any one of these issues could make the process of moving from children’s services to adult services difficult for our young people. But often, more than one is happening at any one time.”

“Our young people have a right to care and support from a mental health system that has been put in place to help them recover. Action must be taken immediately to make sure support systems are robust and doing the job they were designed to do.”

Mind Cymru is asking people to email their Member of the Senedd (MS) and amplify the voices of these young people whose experiences are often unheard, and use the #SortTheSwitch hashtag on social media.

The full report is available here, including what a good move from SCAMHS to AMHS would look like for young people, and where the current system could improve.

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Average UK price of diesel hits record of more than £1.80 a litre

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LESS than two months after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 5p a litre cut on the average price of fuel – diesel prices have reached a record high price of 180.29p a litre.
The previous high of 179.90p was recorded on March 23rd 2022 – the day of the Spring Statement from Sunak.

In recent weeks, the UK government has tried to move away from its reliance on importing Russian oil, following President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Worryingly for drivers of petrol cars, the price per litre is fast approaching the record levels of 167.3p per litre set on March 22nd.

This latest price rise adds another challenge to UK households, as the cost of living crisis continues to impact families across the country.

RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “Sadly, despite the Chancellor’s 5p a litre duty cut the average price of a litre of diesel has hit a new record high at 180.29p.”

“Efforts to move away from importing Russian diesel have led to a tightening of supply and pushed up the price retailers pay for diesel.”

“While the wholesale price has eased in the last few days this is likely to be temporary, especially if the EU agrees to ban imports of Russian oil.”

“Unfortunately, drivers with diesel vehicles need to brace themselves for yet more pain at the pumps. Had Mr Sunak reduced VAT to 15% as we call on him to do instead of cutting duty by 5p, drivers of diesel vehicles would be around 2p a litre better off, or £1 for every full tank.”

“As it is, drivers are still paying 27p VAT on petrol and 29p on diesel, which is just the same as before the Spring Statement.”

“The average price of petrol is also on the rise having gone up nearly 3p a litre since the start of the month to 166.65p which means it’s less than a penny away from the all-time high of 167.30p set on 22 March.”

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