OVER the last few years no UK government policy frustrated me more than the decision to close Remploy.

The Remploy concept was one that was developed out of conflict and the large numbers of veterans returning with injuries that often excluded them from many forms of employment.

Over the years the company developed into not just supporting ex-serviceman but many other disabled people who became valued members of the workforce.

Remploy understood the old maxim that employment does not only provide you with sustenance it provides you with dignity and purpose.

As I have stated in these pages previously, the decision to close the factories was short sighted and plain wrong.

This was expressed to me not just through the great products the factories produced but in the way the employees conducted themselves while campaigning to keep the sites open.

I was proud to stand alongside them and promised them whatever the result, I would continue to work with them to secure future employment.

Following the closure I organised meetings with Caerphilly Council, CareersWales and the job centre.

Caerphilly Council in particular have gone on to help a number of ex Remploy staff into employment and as well as a number of other organisations, which have come forward with jobs.

I, of course, am very grateful to them. As things stand we have found work for 23 former Remploy employees.

On a recent visit to Markham Primary School and their school garden and play area I was delighted at the enthusiasm shown from the teachers, pupils and the volunteers who make all of this possible.

During the visit I was reminded of a report I had seen earlier that week.

It stated that not all children are fully aware of where their food is actually sourced from.

That recent study of over 27,500 young people aged between five-16 found that many struggled with the concept of actually telling the researcher were many of their favourite foods came from.

For example, many children said that cheese was made from plants, while a minority suggested that fish fingers came from chicken and pigs.

It is of paramount importance that more educational projects like the one I witnessed in Markham are played out in other parts of the SouthWales Valleys to not only educated them were food is produced, but more importantly, the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.