This is my first Christmas message as the Welsh Conservative leader and, indeed, your Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly. The last year has been one of change in Wales for all the main parties, which has also brought about a change of government in Wales.
Thankfully, the festive period remains a constant in our calendar: for the vast majority of us in Wales and across the UK, Christmas is a time of celebration and spending time with the family. However, this is not the case for everybody. While we’re in our homes having our Christmas lunch or watching festive television, emergency service workers will still be on duty. They will be turning up for a shift as usual.
Nurses will still be tending to the sick, the police still on alert for 999 calls, paramedics still ready to reach a patient. Christmas for them is just another day.
While we politicians use the year to debate the best way to run the emergency services, they get the job done, come rain or shine. We must recognise the importance of their role and we must not forget they are the ones who must deal with the outcomes of the Welsh Government’s decisions.
So this Christmas, spare a thought for those on the front-line who give up time with their family and friends to look after those who are in need. However, those in our NHS, police, and fire services aren’t the only ones who use their Christmas to help others.
Volunteers up and down Wales donate their energies to help feed the homeless or use their time at a care home to converse with the lonely and vulnerable. These are the champions of our society who use Christmas to make it easier and more enjoyable for others.
So this Christmas, the Welsh Conservatives want to send out the message that if you have the chance to pass on one kindness, to do one selfless act, or to help even just one person, do it. Given how eventful 2018 has been and next year promises to be, I’m sure you will join me in hoping for a quiet end to the year.
I wish everybody a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda.