4. 90-second Statements

– in the Senedd at 3:17 pm on 21 February 2024.

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Photo of David Rees David Rees Labour 3:17, 21 February 2024

(Translated)

So, we'll move on to item 4, 90-second statements, and the first is from Peter Fox.

Photo of Peter Fox Peter Fox Conservative

Diolch, Dirprwy Lywydd. This year, we commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the incredible Tŷ Hafan Children's Hospice, who support critically ill children and their families across south and west Wales. Not only have they cared for 1,051 children since opening their doors, providing respite, therapy and advocacy, they now have 17 shops across Wales, with a total of 517 volunteers across their service. The work of Tŷ Hafan is needed now more than ever as the prevalence of children with life-limiting conditions in Wales has increased by 25 per cent in the last decade. Today, here in Wales, there are 3,655 children who suffer with a life-limiting condition, with the average age of referral to Tŷ Hafan being just one year old. From this, it's clear that the work of Tŷ Hafan will continue to be ever important in our society, and funding to facilitate it must continue. As Members of the Senedd, it's also our responsibility to ensure that we promote their work to reach children in our own communities.

To conclude, the magnitude of their work for children and families cannot be overstated, and I feel honoured to commemorate their twenty-fifth anniversary here in the Senedd today.

Photo of Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders Conservative 3:19, 21 February 2024

We are very fortunate today to live in a society of acceptance and kindness. People of all backgrounds and abilities are now taking part in everyday society. However, whilst this change is positive, there is more we can do. Sadly, there still exists a stigma around those with disabilities and special educational needs. With over 63,000 children in our schools in Wales with special educational needs, it is vital that we continue to open up opportunities for them and encourage the respect they deserve.

This is why a constituent of mine, Sylvia Harper, and another constituent of mine, 15-year-old Holly Morgan, have created a series of books that aim to create awareness and specifically try to create a better understanding between children with special needs and those without. As Sylvia explains:

'Having noticed the bullying and teasing my two great-grandchildren have had to put up with over the last few years, I realised it was down to misunderstanding.'

The series of books covers topics such as deafness, blindness, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. They are colourful, bright and vibrant and have a balance of text and pictures to aid understanding of these stories. I believe these books should have the potential to be in every nursery and school across Wales, and indeed this is their ambition. They need some help in achieving this, so I would ask Members in your own constituencies to maybe look at these books. I see potential here for a wonderful Welsh story—one of humble beginnings that will further cultivate our virtues of respect, recognition and responsibility. Diolch.