I had the pleasure of Plaid Cymru Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth’s company during a recent day out in Newport.

During a packed day we got to visit Rodney Parade where Norman Parselle, chief executive of County in the Community, told us all about their amazing work with people of all ages in my region.

We also got to visit the new premises of the Wibli Wobli nursery, which has bounced back from a devastating fire earlier in the year to come back stronger.

We had time in between visits to pop into the brilliant indoor market for a spot of lunch.

The visit that possibly left the longest lasting mark on us both however was the one to the Gwent Drug and Alcohol (GDAS) service at their base in Newport city centre.

While there we met with people training to be mentors for addicts. Most of the people volunteering were once addicts who had now recovered and got their lives back on track thanks to the help and support of GDAS.

Most of them spoke about the need to give something back to the organisation that had – in many cases – saved their lives.

Mentoring is a key part of the journey to recovery because they can provide a unique support service having already been in a similar position to the person fighting their addiction. That shared experience and wisdom makes for a very powerful tool in helping someone fight addiction.

Both Rhun and I were inspired by what we saw and heard that day.

The dedication from the would-be mentors and their determination to help others – in the same way that they had once been helped – was uplifting. The day also gave us plenty to think about when it comes to policy formulation.

For a long time, I have advocated for a compassionate approach to dealing with people with drug addiction.

There needs to be more investment in treatment and there also needs to be a re-examination of the drug laws that have failed for five decades. If we are to be serious about making our communities safer, bringing down drug deaths and offering more support for people who fall into addiction, then the draconian drugs laws in the UK need to be tackled.

I doubt Westminster will ever do this so I hope that we can achieve it through the devolution of the criminal justice system to Wales.

Today’s election for the new Police and Crime Commissioners is also a chance to look at things with fresh eyes – don’t waste this opportunity to try something new.