By Lesley Griffiths

MS for Wrexham

I am a long-time supporter of Teams4U and I recently visited the charity’s HQ in Llay as the team launched its Christmas Shoebox Appeal. Each year the charity runs this nationwide initiative to provide Christmas gifts to vulnerable children and families who are unlikely to receive any presents. People are asked to find an old shoebox, wrap it in Christmas paper and fill it with useful gifts. When completed, the shoeboxes should be dropped off at the Teams4U warehouse on the Llay Industrial Estate before the deadline of Friday 3 December. This year, your shoebox gifts will travel to orphanages in Belarus and to deprived communities in Bosnia, Georgia, Romania and Moldova. The shoebox appeal, which was started in Wrexham by Teams4U founder, Dave Cooke over 25 years ago, is such a worthy cause. Its still going strong after all these years and the positive impact it has on the lives of vulnerable children and parents cannot be overstated. Ultimately, the key reason for its prolonged success is due to the generosity of local residents and if anyone wants to help Teams4U spread joy to children in difficult situations this Christmas, all the information about how to get involved can be found online.

Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford visited Wrexham once again last week to join police officers on the beat around the town centre. An extra £3.7m was announced by the Welsh Government earlier this year to fund an additional 100 PCSOs across the country, helping tackle crime and support communities. The additional 100 PCSOs brings the total funded by the Welsh Government to 600, with 121 in North Wales. Having officers on the ground who know their communities is vitally important and I am pleased the Welsh Government funding is having a tangible impact in Wrexham.

The Welsh Labour Government and Plaid Cymru have signed a bespoke Co-operation Agreement, which will create a “stable Senedd” capable of delivering “radical change and reform”, according to the First Minister. The three-year arrangement covers almost 50 policy areas, including the delivery of free school meals to all primary school pupils and plans to extend free childcare to include 2-year-olds. Creating stability in these uncertain times is to be welcomed. Welsh politics is based on consensus and where there is common ground, it is sensible to work together to make a real difference to the lives of people in Wrexham and Wales.

If you are a constituent and there is an issue I could help you with, please email me at lesley.griffiths@senedd.wales or call 01978 355743.