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Paul Potts backs Treat Trust Wales at meeting with Health Minister Mark Drakeford

A CHARITY brought in one of its big guns to add some star power at a top-level meeting with a Welsh Government minister that could be worth £1.5 million.

 

Treat Trust Wales is behind ambitious plans to develop a multi-million pound, state-of-the-art rehabilitation and wellbeing centre in the grounds of Morriston Hospital.

Representatives were invited to a meeting with Health Minister Mark Drakeford and sent a four-strong delegation to Cardiff Bay.

The Treat contingent comprised its president Paul Potts, founder Melanie Davies, her husband and Treat chairman Mike Davies and Morriston Hospital spinal surgeon Iona Collins, who is also backing the charity. "Mr Drakeford has not been health minister for long so the purpose of the meeting was to bring him up to speed with what Treat is," said Melanie.

"We had a meeting with his predecessor Lesley Griffiths last November, and in fact she briefed Mr Drakeford about us.

"It was a very positive meeting, very constructive and very useful in many ways.

"Potentially we could qualify for a Welsh Government grant of up to £1.5 million.

"The crux of it is our business plan. We did have one drawn up about 10 years ago but it needs to be updated in terms of the figures and demographics and so on."

Melanie, who is from Port Talbot but now lives with Mike near Pontardawe, broke her back in a motorbike accident as a 15-year-old schoolgirl more than 30 years ago.

She has also twice fought breast cancer. It was while recuperating from her first bout that Melanie came up with the idea of Treat Trust Wales.

Apart from Paul Potts, its backers include Michael Sheen and his father Meyrick, Rob Brydon, Kev Johns and Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.

Treat will hold its annual general meeting in the burns and plastics seminar room in Morriston Hospital tonight, starting at 6pm.

"We will be discussing the business plan," said Melanie. "The Welsh Government has said it will provide advice and guidance as to how we go about updating it.

"But we need to find someone who is willing to give up some time and look at the business case to help us make the necessary changes."

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