I am always more than happy to lend my support to the Wear It Pink campaign, raising awareness of both the organisation and the work they do.
Every Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wear it pink brings together thousands of people on one day, all with the same aim – to wear pink, raise money and help make life-saving breast cancer research happen.
Breast Cancer Now’s wear it pink day is one of the UK’s biggest fundraising events, having raised over £33 million since launching in 2002, and this year wear it pink is going to be bigger than ever!
So please mark 18 October in your diaries to Wear it Pink and raise vital funds which will go a long way in research to fight breast cancer.
If you would like to find out how you can make a difference go to: https://www.wearitpink.org/
A new benefit to support young people starting a new job after a period of unemployment will be introduced next Spring.
The Job Start Payment is a new payment to help young people with the cost of starting a new job.
The £250 payment, or £400 for people with children, will help towards travel, clothing, lunches or other costs associated with work.
In its first year, around 5,000 young people could benefit from this financial support.
I’m pictured with journalist and photographer David Pratt at his extremely moving exhibition “Only With The Heart”. David’s exhibition is currently on at the Sogo Gallery, Saltmarket and will run until 8 November 2019.
David has worked in conflict zones all over the world throughout his career and the images on show document the hardships faced by many living in warzones.
Talking about the exhibition David said of the people in his photographs “Their generosity and openness in allowing me into their lives, often at dangerous and traumatic moments, is what has kept me going these 40 years, and reaffirms my own faith in humankind’s capacity to endure and occasionally overcome.”
I would absolutely recommend a visit to the exhibition.
Many of you will know the Scottish Government announced the introduction of a tourist tax or as named the Transient Visitor Levy.
A consultation on the proposal has been launched. The Scottish Government are seeking to develop government understanding of the issues and concerns with regard to the introduction of a Transient Visitor Levy and help inform the development of legislation to enable local authorities to apply a visitor levy.
You can access the consultation here: https://consult.gov.scot/local-government-and-communities/visitor-levy/
Stand Alone were in the Parliament this week to talk about their work. They help people of all ages that become estranged or disowned from their family or key family members.
We heard from a number of young Scots who are estranged from their family and the barriers they encounter to access and succeed in higher education and the emphasis on finding suitable accommodation.
These estranged students live independently and pursue their education without parental support and, as they have not been in local authority care, also without a corporate parent.
In the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, the UK Government proposes students can obtain leave to remain for only three years, meaning prospective students applying to Scottish universities will have no guarantee they will be able to complete their four year undergraduate courses.
Following reports this week that the UK Government would find a “solution”, Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead has written to Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson to ask for clarity.
We await his response!
Teapot Trust were exhibiting in the Parliament and I took the opportunity to meet with them to discuss their work.
The organisation was set up in 2010 by Laura and John Young after seeing the gaps in care for children with rheumatological issues who were regularly visiting hospital.
The Young’s daughter, Verity, spent much of her short life in hospital coping with illness and managing the effects that her treatment had upon her young body. Art gave Verity a way of expressing herself and was an essential coping strategy for the whole family, so the Young’s wanted to help other children and families in the same situation.
The first art therapy service began in 2011 at the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh and the second opened in 2012 at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.
You can find out more about their work here: https://www.teapot-trust.org/
I took time to stop by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) stand at the Parliament this week.
For 100 years, RoSPA has been working behind the scenes to change both legislation and attitudes surrounding accidents.
RoSPA has been instrumental in shaping our society for the better, preventing millions of deaths and serious injuries along the way and I commend their determination and commitment to campaigning, research, influencing legislation and educating.
More information on their work can be found here: https://www.rospa.com/