First Minister Carwyn Jones has addressed the nation with his Christmas message and is proud of what’s been achieved in a “hugely difficult year”:

Mr Jones, said:  “For many of us, this time of year can be very busy as we try to juggle home and work – Christmas shopping, nativities, carol concerts, writing cards, wrapping presents, seeing family, friends and colleagues – the ‘To Do’ list goes on and on.

“For others, this time of year can be difficult and stressful.

“I am proud that 2017 is the year this Government pledged to end Youth Homelessness in Wales, and I hope the extra support we have recently announced will help more and more vulnerable people through this winter, and the winters ahead.

“This has been an eventful, unpredictable and – at times – hugely difficult year.

“There have been both highs and lows.

There are more people in work in Wales than ever before, our exports and inward investment levels continue to impress, a new scheme means that there are more people accessing breakthrough treatments and medicines, and we are providing more support than ever before for our valued National Health Service.

“This year marked the 20th anniversary of devolution and provided us with the opportunity to look back on our biggest achievements – an economy transformed, schools and colleges rebuilt and leading the way on organ donation and recycling. A small, confident nation, now with a big voice of our own.

“This summer, Cardiff proudly hosted the greatest sporting event of the year, the Champions League Final. The eyes of the world were on Wales – and, again, we delivered.

“However, celebrations were cut short as the tragic events of the London Bridge attack unfolded and the country had to face the horrors of yet more innocent lives lost in another appalling and senseless act.

“This year, we’ve lost good friends who are missed each and every day by us, by their families, by all who knew them and by the nation. My thoughts will be with all those who are without loved ones this Christmas.

“I would also like to pay my heart-felt thanks to our hardworking emergency services, as well as our carers and volunteers who give up their Christmas to help others. Your dedication and commitment is an inspiration to all of us.

“Let’s make 2018 a year that unites us and go into the New Year with a message of peace and reconciliation, so we can pull together and work towards building a better Wales for everyone.

“I hope you all have a very happy Christmas – Nadolig Llawen i chi gyd!”