THERE’S nothing like exams results day to make you feel your age. I still remember waiting to pick up my GCSEs at St Albans RC High School, even though it was 20 years ago. Someone born on the day I picked up my A-level results up may even have received their own A-level results this summer! Well done to all the young people who’ve received their results in recent weeks. Congratulations to those of you who got the results you were hoping for. For those of you who didn’t, I’m sure other opportunities will open up for you.

Some national newspapers are fond of reporting that MPs have a two month holiday in the summer, but the truth is rather different. The summer is an opportunity for us to do constituency work, meeting groups and organisations during the time of week when we’d usually be in Westminster, and to follow up on issues we’ve raised during the year.

Parliamentary groups also work during the recess. I recently visited the ITV studios in Leeds with the Industry and Parliament Trust, to speak with some of their apprentices about the excellent apprenticeship scheme there. Of course, it wasn’t all hard, serious work - we also got to visit the Emmerdale set, which made some friends and family members very jealous!

I also attended the Cancer Research UK Awareness Roadshow as it stopped in Pontypool. I’ve worked closely with a number of cancer charities in my first year as an MP, especially on my Private Members Bill on Off-patent Drugs, and have seen at close quarters the excellent work that they do. That’s often thanks to the fundraising efforts of local people, so all of you who’ve donated or raised funds should feel proud.

Local employment is another issue close to my heart, so it was good to visit Pontypool Market for the ‘Dress to Impress’ event run by Melin Homes and Torfaen Council’s employability team. Of course, we also need high-quality jobs for local people to apply for, so I was delighted to attend the opening of Frog Bikes in Mamhilad. Frog will be making high quality lightweight bikes for children. I welcome them to the area and look forward to working closely with them.

I’d like to end my column by paying tribute to a local hero recently honoured in the Argus, Garndiffaith man Cornelius Harris. Mr Harris received a Legion D’honneur medal from the French Embassy for his contribution to the liberation of France during the D-Day Landings and in the days that followed. We should all thank people like Mr Harris for their bravery, as they fought for the freedoms we sometimes take for granted.