Plaid Cymru candidate for Llanelli and second candidate on Mid and West Wales regional list
Helen Mary was born in Colchester in Essex and moved to Wales with her family in her teens. Educated at Aberystwyth University, she worked as a special needs teacher, in several roles in the voluntary sector working with young people and was Deputy Director of the Equal Opportunities Commission in Wales.
Between 1999 and 2011, she served as an AM for Llanelli, holding several key national roles as shadow Minister for Education, Equality and Social Justice and Agriculture and the Environment. She was elected by the whole Assembly to chair the Children and Young People's committee and introduced a successful private members' law to improve carers rights.
As a Llanelli AM, Helen Mary supported over 5,000 individuals and families with a whole range of services including education, health, benefits and housing. She supported successful campaigns to get the local hospice funded by the NHS and to bring a £6.6 million investment to Prince Philip Hospital to build a state of the art Breast Care Centre. She ensured that Accident and Emergency services at the hospital were protected, and successfully persuaded the One Wales Government to protect hundreds of jobs in the Llanelli area using the ProAct and ReAct schemes.
Since 2011, Helen Mary has worked as the Chief Executive of a national charity supporting youth work in Wales. She also has a role acting as an advocate for adults with learning disabilities and severe mental health problems.
Helen Mary has one daughter, Catrin who is 19.
Asked why she has decided to stand for election again, Helen Mary says...
"I'm standing because I want to play my part in building a stronger, fairer future for Wales and for our communities. People in Llanelli are full of talent and energy and I am tired of seeing them held back by poverty and lack of opportunity. I'd like to play a part in creating the conditions where that potential can be released and we can work together to build the future that we all deserve."