The experiences of the last year and a half have taught us many things: there are lessons for governments about how to prepare and deal with public health crises, and we’re going to need long-term solutions to improve services that have long been neglected, especially in the fields of social care and mental health.

But as individuals, I believe that our shared experience of hardship has given us an opportunity to consider what we value most in life.

One of those is our connections to the people and world around us.

Our connection to each other, connections between communities, connections between different parts of Wales, our connection with our sports teams and all the nations of the world.

These connections form the invisible infrastructure of our lives, and although we can’t see them, we can feel them: they’re real and they bring joy to our lives.

Part of a politician’s role is to strengthen connections - to build bridges and foster understanding - and it is for this reason that I was delighted to be elected chairperson of the Senedd’s Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport and International Relations Committee.

Many of the sectors we’ll be working with have suffered hardships during the pandemic.

Anyone who knows someone working as a performer or stage crew will know the difficulties faced by people who rely on culture for a living.

The same goes for sport – while elite sport could thankfully continue, many of our local teams saw their schedule come to a halt for months on end. And these sectors face an uncertain financial future.

While so many areas suffered, some received an unexpected boom.

Welsh became the fastest growing language in the UK on Duolingo, with a 44 per cent increase of learners according to the company.

I’m really keen to approach the language in the most accessible way possible and to hear from people who don’t speak it as well as people who do, since I believe the language belongs to everyone in Wales and can have an important part to play in the lives of non-speakers, whether that’s through watching S4C programmes with subtitles or having the joy of a grandchild becoming the first Welsh speaker in the family.

We certainly have our work cut out for us!

I’m keen to embark on this challenge and to steer the committee’s work in scrutinising these vitally important areas and to do so in the most inclusive way possible.

The purpose of Senedd committees is to try to benefit the whole of Wales by identifying problems and offering solutions, but we need to hear from experts and members of the public who are involved in (or love) the different sectors we’ll be investigating. If you’ve got ideas about what we should be doing, or would like to share your views in the fields I’ve mentioned, head over to to have your say in our consultation. I look forward to hearing from you!