Sandra White MSP for Glasgow Kelvin

Thursday 15 November 2018

Smart Gym

11.18 Smart GymWhat a great visit I had on Monday to the newly launched fitness and childcare facility, Smart Gym.

The initiative, founded by entrepreneur Dean Hardie, will pilot in Townhead Village Hall.

The first classes started on 8 November and will continue on consecutive Thursday’s and Friday’s for 12 weeks.

Smart Gym have committed to providing affordable fitness and childcare to Glasgow parents.

The new gym has developed a wide range of classes from blood-pumping body burn to mindful yoga.

Smart Gym is working with nursery partner Stepping Stones For Families to offer a professional childcare service that is flexible, reliable and affordable.

Complimentary on-site talking therapy will be offered courtesy of Central Psychology Scotland for the duration of the pilot.

You can find out more here:

SME’s and Brexit

With Brexit looming I thought it would be of benefit to small and medium sized local businesses to have some information and support.

The Federation of Small Businesses have put together a Brexit pack for businesses outlining the various scenarios put forward by the UK Government and its impact.

What is most useful is the information on what steps businesses can take now in dealing with the exit.

I’d urge small and medium sized businesses to get the pack and further information here:

Olive Tree Project

11.18 Olive TreeThe Cross Party Group on Palestine of which I am Co-Convener met this week to hear from Muhanad from the Olive Tree Project based in Bethlehem who gave a very powerful presentation on the work of the project and the current situation.

The olive tree is a universal symbol of peace and a powerful symbol of Palestinian rootedness in their land. But in the political turmoil of the Middle East today, trees that have survived hundreds of years have become casualties in the struggle for the control of the land.

Olive trees have been a major source of income for Palestinians for centuries, with trees covering over 50% of agricultural land. The olive and olive oil industry supports the livelihoods of around 100,000 Palestinian families.

Since the occupation of the West Bank began in 1967, Palestinian farmers have lost hundreds of thousands of olive trees. Trees planted and cared for by generations of the same family have been destroyed or uprooted as settlers seek to claim Palestinian land as their own.

The project is providing hope and practical support and with assistance from the sponsorship programme are making a real difference.

An olive tree is the perfect gift for people who feel strongly about peace and justice.

You can find out more about the project here:

Criminal Responsibility 

A debate on Stage 1 of the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Bill took place this week in Parliament and I had the opportunity to contribute.

Whilst I support the Bill I wanted to raise some questions with regards to the impact the new legislation will have on other areas of the system such as the Children’s Hearing system.

You can read the full debate here:


The Board of the Glasgow School of Art were giving evidence to the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee this week. I also took the time to attend the Committee to raise some of the issues highlighted to me by members of the local community and the businesses affected by the fire.

I would urge those affected by the fire and those with an interest in the future of the Glasgow School of Art to view the evidence session here:

St Andrew’s Day

11.18 St Andrews TorchlightPreparations for celebrating St Andrew’s Day are well under way in the constituency.

The West End Festival will return this year with their annual St Andrew’s Day Torchlight Parade.

The parade will start at 6.15 in the Botanic Gardens, passing through Byres Road to Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery.

The Parade, now in its third year, has been a huge success. It provides a great opportunity for members of the local community to come together.

In 2016 from the proceeds of the sale of torches a donation was made to local charity the Beatson Cancer Charity, and in 2017 it was the turn of Spirit Aid — with actor and director David Hayman leading the parade.   David will once again be involved with Spirit Aid to highlight the relevance of community coming together to support those who need it most.

For more information go to:

Community Pharmacy 

11.18 Community Pharmacy ScotlandI stopped by the Community Pharmacy Scotland exhibition stand this week in Parliament to chat with their representatives about their work.

Community Pharmacy Scotland provide information and advice to Scotland’s 1,256 community pharmacies in respect of any matter concerning the provision of pharmacy services.

They also undertake the role of engaging with members of the Scottish Parliament, Health Boards and other relevant bodies both in Scotland and throughout the United Kingdom in promoting, representing and safeguarding the interests of Scottish Pharmacy.

I recognise that Community Pharmacy is at the heart of every community and plays an important role in the drive to ensure health professions can provide services people need and deserve.


Finally I would like to draw your attention to a wonderful organisation called Meal Makers. A local neighbourhood food-sharing project that connects people who love cooking, and who are happy to share an extra portion of home cooked food, with an older neighbour who would really appreciate a freshly prepared meal and a friendly chat.

If you would like to get involved or know someone who would benefit from this project please have a look at their website for more information here:




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