As part of Dementia Action Week (15-21 May), Tonia Antoniazzi MP attended a Parliamentary reception hosted by Alzheimer’s Society where they found out that, unlike in England, NHS Wales doesn’t publish a dementia diagnosis rate.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP has lent their support to the charity’s Dementia Action Week campaign on the importance of dementia diagnosis. The tagline “It’s not called getting old, it’s called getting ill” encourages people worried about their own or a loved one’s memory, to seek support in getting a diagnosis using a ‘symptoms checklist’. This is available on Alzheimer’s Society’s online hub at www.alzheimers.org.uk/memoryloss.
Now, Tonia Antoniazzi MP is joining Alzheimer’s Society to call on NHS Wales to ensure that comprehensive dementia diagnosis data is collected and published centrally on a national level so that Wales’ performance can be compared to other parts of the UK.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP said: “There are around 50,000 people in Wales living with dementia, but we have no way of knowing what percentage are actually diagnosed with the condition. Everyone living with dementia deserves an accurate, timely, and high-quality dementia diagnosis so they can access vital care and support, and plan for their future. High-quality data will benefit people with dementia, and enable NHS Wales to plan resources more effectively.”
James White, Head of National Influencing at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We thank Tonia Antoniazzi MP for meeting with us, and showing their support this Dementia Action Week.
“In England, the dementia diagnosis rate fell below the national ambition during the pandemic, and it has remained stagnant around 62% ever since. More than 30,000 people have missed out on a diagnosis during this period.
“We believe it’s better to know – 9 in 10 people told us they benefitted from getting a diagnosis as it meant they could access treatment and advice and plan for the future.
“In Wales, we don’t even know the scale of the diagnosis challenge, so we need high-quality local and national data as soon as possible.”
For support and information about dementia visit alzheimers.org.uk/memoryloss or call Alzheimer’s Society on 0333 150 3456.
[0330 094 7400 Welsh-speaking number] For callers who do not have English as their language of choice, Alzheimer’s Society can arrange a simultaneous language translation service.
● National charity Melanoma Focus issues warning after new survey data shows that 32% of UK adults don't use sunscreen despite most burning at least once per year.
● Only 11% say they always use sunscreen in the UK, dropping to 8% for males.
● Melanoma is on the rise in the UK and is the most serious form of skin cancer.
● Survey also finds that 28% of British people have used sunbeds, a known cause of melanoma.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP has added their voice to Melanoma Awareness Month after experts raised concerns in response to the new data released today by the charity Melanoma Focus which shows that 32% of British people reported rarely or never using sunscreen when in the UK and only 11% saying that they always use it.
Male respondents were particularly reluctant to use sunscreen, with 40% saying they rarely or never use it in the UK and only 8% reporting always using it.
When asked why they don’t use sunscreen the majority (39%) said it’s because they don't expect to burn. This is despite 52% of all respondents reporting that they got sunburned at least once per year, rising to 71% for 26-35 year olds.
Melanoma skin cancer is a serious and potentially fatal condition, yet people in the UK are often ignoring the dangers posed by prolonged exposure to the UV rays.
1 in 36 men and 1 in 47 women in the UK will be diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in their lifetime. It is the deadliest form of skin cancer and is in the top five most commonly diagnosed cancers in the UK, killing 2,333 people per year. Yet 86% of melanomas are preventable.
Melanoma skin cancer is becoming more common in the UK, with around 16,700 new cases every year (46 every day). Recent research has shown that there has been a huge increase in the number of people in the UK being diagnosed with melanoma, despite efforts to educate the public on the risks. Over the last decade, melanoma skin cancer incidence rates have increased by around a third (32%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by more than a quarter (27%), and rates in males have increased by almost two-fifths (38%). It is expected to continue to rise.
The vast majority (86%) of melanoma skin cancer is preventable yet the new data shows that as well as many not wearing sunscreen, a quarter of British people (24%) think that a sunscreen below SPF 30 is the minimum needed for skin protection and 17% said they didn’t know what the minimum was.
The reported use of sunbeds is also a serious concern. It is estimated that in the UK about 100 people die each year from melanomas that are due to sunbed use.
The survey found that 28% of British people have used sunbeds despite 82% of all respondents knowing that they increase the risk of skin cancer. Sunbed use was highest among 26-35 year olds at 40%.
Susanna Daniels, CEO of Melanoma Focus, said:
“About seven people die from melanoma every day in the UK and more people die from melanoma in the UK than in Australia. The fact that people are continuing to ignore the warnings and not take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from skin cancer is concerning.
“About 9 in 10 melanoma skin cancer cases are preventable and it is vital that people take the warnings about the dangers of excessive sun exposure and the dangers of sunbed use seriously.
“Sunbeds can be incredibly dangerous and it’s concerning that their use is so popular in the UK. The best way to protect yourself from the dangers of sunbeds is to avoid them altogether and use high-factor sun protection, along with seeking shade and wearing a hat when in the sun.”
Professor Catherine Harwood, Consultant Dermatologist at Barts Health and Trustee at Melanoma Focus, said:
“The survey results clearly show that many people in the UK don’t always appreciate how dangerous sunburn can be. Sun exposure, particularly when young, can cause permanent DNA damage in the skin making it more likely for skin cancers like melanoma to develop.
“Skin protection should be taken seriously, especially by those with lighter skin tones. During the summer, whether in the UK or abroad, I recommend wearing a combined UVA and UVB sunscreen of SPF 30 or above and avoiding the sun in the middle of the day.
“Sunbeds or tanning beds are also a serious issue as they emit a type of ultraviolet (UV) radiation that can damage the DNA of skin cells, leading to an increased risk of skin cancer. Additionally, people who use tanning beds are more likely to get sunburns, which can further damage the skin.”
Tonia Antoniazzi MP said “I’m delighted to support Melanoma Awareness Month and do what I can to help my constituents protect themselves and their loved ones from this rising and very serious form of skin cancer.”
On the 19th May I was thrilled to invite community groups across the constituency to meet with funding providers from a variety of organisations, all on hand to provide some valuable guidance on accessing funding opportunities to support local projects and initiatives in Gower.
Before the pandemic ground everything to a halt, I held a similar event a few years ago for community groups and organizations so they could identify funding and develop successful grant applications. My previous funding advice event was a big hit so after a few years off I thought it was time to organise another.
I am pleased to say that this time we were able to bring together experienced advisors from various organizations including Swansea Council for Voluntary Services, Sport Wales, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, National Lottery Community Fund, Great Western Railway, Pobl, the Community Foundation Wales, Cwmpas, and the Lloyds Bank Foundation who generously shared their expertise with attendees.
The turnout for the funding advice day was remarkable, with community groups and organizations from Bishopston to Bont and all across Gower taking full advantage of the guidance and support which was on offer.
I hope this event has empowered our brilliant local groups and organizations to secure some funding and bring their ideas to life. I am always moved by the people I meet and the passion and dedication of our community groups that was on display was truly inspiring.
I want to thank everyone who took the time to attend, including the staff and volunteers from every organisation in attendance and commend them for the comprehensive support and advice they were able to share with my constituents.
I also want to thank Gorseinon Institute for being such brilliant and accommodating hosts as they always are!
If you weren’t able to attend the event but would like to benefit from any of these organisations help or advice, please do contact my office and we will put you in touch!
Tonia Antoniazzi MP visited a parliamentary drop-in on Wednesday to show their support for the UK’s charity shops. Charity shops have soared in popularity in recent years as shoppers look to get the best value for their money and move towards making more sustainable fashion choices.
Charity shops are key figures on high streets across the country and alongside their environmental benefits in promoting reuse, savings hundreds of thousands of tonnes of clothing from being disposed of each year, they also support their local communities by attracting footfall to nearby businesses and acting as a social hub for people looking to learn new skills, meet others and build confidence.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP said:
"Charity shops are the pillars of our high streets across Gower so I wanted to say thank you to the Charity Retail Association for the opportunity to meet this week. In the last year, UK charity shops did their bit to promote sustainable fashion by diverting 339 000 tonnes of clothes from landfill and they should be applauded for their phenomenal work."
Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association, said:
“Charity shops have shown their resilience in the huge challenges they’ve faced over the past few years and are now continuing to thrive and attract new customers. The importance of the role charity shops play in society cannot be understated – they occupy a prominent and exceptional place in the retail landscape and it’s exciting to see the sector adapting to meet the needs of their customers; from opening new superstores to embracing social media trends.
“Charity shops offer a completely unique shopping experience which couldn’t happen without the effort and dedication of the thousands of volunteers and staff who work every day to raise money for good causes and give their time to make their charity shops a success.”
Find out more about charity shops and your nearest stores at www.charitytretail.org.uk.