Thursday 9 May 2019
It’s hard to believe 20 years have passed this week since we reconvened the Scottish Parliament. We have come a long way since those early days of devolution with groundbreaking legislation being passed that may never have come to fruition without our own Parliament.
It has been a privilege to serve as both list MSP for Glasgow and constituency MSP for Glasgow Kelvin across the two decades and I thank the people of Glasgow for putting their trust in me to represent them in the Scottish Parliament.
It was good to catch up with representatives of Epilepsy Scotland when they were exhibiting in the Scottish Parliament this week.
In Scotland 55,000 people are affected by epilepsy. Children and older people are most at risk of developing this common serious neurological condition but anyone can develop epilepsy at any time.
Epilepsy Scotland want to make sure the needs of people with epilepsy are met. That is why they campaign for improved healthcare, better information provision and an end to stigma.
You can access further information on the organisation at https://www.epilepsyscotland.org.uk/
Community groups and projects can now apply to the new £11.5 million Investing in Communities Fund to tackle disadvantage, poverty and inequality.
The fund encourages community-led development, design and delivery of sustainable local solutions addressing local issues, circumstances and aspirations – such as supporting out-of-school provision, providing activities and workshops, creating a community café and improving job opportunities.
Grants of up to £250,000 are available over three years providing stability and recognising the need for longer term planning in some projects.
The fund is now open to applications and will close on 14 June 2019.
Find out more about the fund here: https://www.gov.scot/policies/community-empowerment/empowering-communities-fund/
I’m pictured with Eileen Cawley from the Scottish Pensioners Forum during a parliamentary reception which I sponsored on Tuesday this week.
The reception was attended by organisations such as Scottish Hazards and Age Scotland and was addressed by the Minister for Older People Christina McKelvie MSP.
They were launching the findings of a Scottish Government funded report undertaken by the Scottish Pensioners’ Forum, with help from Scottish Hazards, on bullying and harassment in an ageing workforce. This survey was carried out through funding from the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum and helped form part of the recently launched Scottish Government Older People’s Framework.
We had an impromptu visit from Chairman of the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society Shabir Beg in the Scottish Parliament and I managed to get a quick chat with him about the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society’s work across the Glasgow Kelvin constituency and of course a bit of flag flying!
The Society is a faith-based organisation working to meet the needs of the Scottish Shia Muslim community and society in general across the cultural, social, political, and religious spectra.
They work to engage with other communities and faiths, strengthening ties in an effort to create a setting for religious and racial harmony, equality, and diversity in the nation.
The Society carries out an incredible amount of work across the city and for that I am grateful.
It was a lovely surprise to meet up with Ali and Jenifer from Reza Wood Designs when they were attending the Federation of Small Businesses event in the Parliament this week.
Ali and Jenifer sought my assistance over a decade ago when Ali was seeking asylum and we successfully fought his case and secured leave to remain.
They now run a very successful small business promoting handmade Scottish goods.
It was my pleasure to take part in a podcast with RNIB Connect Radio’s Allan Russell this week.
We chatted about my work on the Responsible Parking Bill which has been adopted and integrated into the Scottish Government’s Transport Bill.
This legislation will include taking action on the dangerous practice of vehicles parking on pavements.
You can listen to the interview here: