On 2nd October 2014, there was an Assembly event in Cardiff (the fourth such event following those in Stormont, Northern Ireland, Holyrood, Scotland and Westminster). All the parliamentary/assembly events have been arranged by Steven Sinclair (NAC member).
Mark Drakeford AM, the Minister for Health and Social Services, opened the event and told us about how the Welsh government has to embrace cutbacks in an age of austerity. This is why events such as this are necessary to ensure that our politicians are kept aware of the challenges that we continue to face and to be able to thank them for the Health Grant that is now in place, so maintaining our profile with them.
Rowland Bareham (Deputy Chair of NAC Health and Wellbeing Committee) gave a talk, of which the theme was about the kind of optimism we experienced in our childhood, teenage years and young adulthood, the pessimism that can set in as our health needs change due to deterioration and the kind of optimism we are now experiencing as we have the Health Grant.
This was followed by short talks given by three Welsh Thalidomiders: Stephen Simmonds, Julie- Jean Watkins and Seren Doyle who described how the Health Grant is helping them. Stephen, additionally, spoke of how the Thalidomide story was an example of the wrong that can be inflicted when governments work with overzealous pharmaceutical companies. All three thanked the Minister for the Health Grant.
Last but not least, there was an exhibition of artworks by Thalidomiders in Wales and a picture was presented to the Minister, Mark Drakeford by Julie-Jean Watkins.
One of the speakers was the new Trust Director – Deborah Jack
Another guest at the event was supporter Nathan Gill MEP (one of the four Welsh MEPs)