It has been a privilege to attend Christmas Celebrations across Newport over the last few weeks. From Schools to Women’s Institutes, from Walking Groups to Care Homes there was certainly lots of Christmas cheer around Newport. In particular, it was heart-warming to see so many people doing something to help others at this time of year.

I was pleased to join Newport Night Shelter on their opening night. Led by Eden Gate, 16 Churches across Newport work together to open their doors to the homeless during the coldest months. The Newport Night Shelter provides a hot meal, a bed for the night and breakfast. Last year they supported 26 people into accommodation and saved 967 nights sleep. The success of the Night Shelter is down to the thousands of dedicated volunteers across Newport who give up their time with warmth and generosity.

Along with Councillor Paul Cockeram, it was a pleasure to present Derwen Housing and Care and Repair Newport with their Dementia Friends logo. I am proud that this is another step towards making Newport a Dementia Friendly City and a Dementia Friendly Wales. Dementia has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in Wales. Understanding the disease is the first step to being able to help those who have dementia and to support their loved ones. If you are an employer or if you run a group in Newport and would like to have the free 45 minute Dementia Friends training please contact Phil Diamond on 07904 921532 or email

Christmas can be one of the busiest times of the year; catching up with friends and surrounded by family. However, it can be difficult for many. One reason can be feeling alone. Loneliness can happen to anyone at any time and at any age. It can have the same effect on your life as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and it is fast becoming a public health issue which must be tackled. Christmas is a reminder to look out for those in our family, friends and our community.

As always, I’m looking forward to supporting Newport County, the Dragons and Newport RFC over Christmas. Newport County play Portsmouth at 3pm on Boxing Day; Dragons host Ospreys on January 1st at 5:05pm and Newport RFC play Rygbi Gogledd on January 2nd 7:15pm. Hope to see you there! | 01633 376627 | 07970 752561