Thursday 28 November

Can I take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kind words following the passing of my husband Davie. This has been an incredibly difficult time and my family and I appreciate the support and compassion you have shown.

16 Days

11.19-16-days-of-activism.jpgI was more than happy to lend my support to the “Orange the World” Campaign led by Soroptimist International as part of the 16 Days of Activism.

November 25th has been designated as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It marks the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, an organising strategy by individuals and organisations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls which will conclude on December 10th, Human Rights Day.

This campaign, also known as “Orange the World” campaign uses orange as the unifying colour throughout all its activities. It is a symbol of a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls.

During these 16 days, civil society is encouraged to “Orange the World” through activities aimed at raising awareness of, or eliminating violence against women.

You can find out more here: https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/end-violence-against-women

Sexual Offences

Victims of rape and sexual assault will be able to refer themselves for forensic examination without having to report a crime to police.

The Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) Scotland Bill contains a number of proposed changes including introducing clear legal responsibilities for health boards to provide direct access to forensic medical services for victims in a process known as ‘self-referral’, and establishing clear rights for victims to know what will happen with evidence taken from them.

This evidence may support any future criminal justice process, if a victim does not wish to report the incident they have suffered to the police or is undecided about doing so.

In addition, Ministers have announced £200,000 of funding for an initiative to develop the role of nurse sexual offence examiners in Scotland. This will allow appropriately qualified and experienced nurses to undertake forensic medical examinations of victims of sexual crime and give evidence in court, something only doctors can do currently.

St Andrews Day Celebrations

11.17 West End Festival Parade

The St Andrews Day Torchlight Parade will once again take place in the city organised by the West End Festival team and supported by Scotland’s Winter Festivals, Glasgow City Council and Byres Road and Lanes BID.

The celebration has been extended to include more family orientated activities. From lantern making to use in the parade to Scottish myths and fairytale storytelling and performances by street theatre artists.

The walk will pass through the main parts of Glasgow’s west end using a rolling road closure, beginning at the Botanic Gardens. It will then move onto Byres Road, before heading through Church Street, Dumbarton Road and finishing at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

For more information on how to book go to http://www.torchlightparade.co.uk/

Mental Health

Professional counselling services will be available to all secondary school pupils who require it by September next year.

Agreement has been reached between the Scottish Government and COSLA on the detailed allocation of £60 million over four years. This funding will build or expand high quality counselling services for children and young people.

Counselling services currently delivered by qualified and registered counsellors through Pupil Equity or Scottish Attainment funding will continue, enabling local authorities to reallocate those funds to other priorities to help close the attainment gap.

School counsellors help support young people’s emotional, behavioural and mental health. Importantly, pupils will also have access to counsellors during school holidays, providing vital continuity of care.

Antony Nolan Trust

11.19-anthony-nolan-trust.jpg

Another great year for the Glasgow Kelvin constituency with support for the Anthony Nolan Trust growing.

We have no less than 3 1st certificates and 1 2nd place certificate out of 73 constituencies! Our 1st include most potential lifesavers added to the stem cell register in the last year, most potential lifesavers on the stem cell register and a joint 1st for the youngest potential lifesavers on the stem cell register. Our 2nd equal placing was for the highest percentage of men aged 16-30 on the stem cell register.

This is quite an achievement. I am extremely proud that Glasgow Kelvin has an incredible 3448 stem cell donors, any one of whom could offer the only chance of giving someone with blood cancer a second chance at life. Donating stem cells is straightforward but it could make an enormous difference to someone with no other chance of a cure.

Pet Friends

Pet owners facing homelessness are set to benefit from better support finding a home which allows them to keep their animals.

New guidance recommends that landlords and local authorities introduce:

  • temporary shelters with ‘dog friendly’ communal rooms
  • improved training for service staff in the importance and benefits of supporting people to remain with their pets and how to work with animals
  • risk assessments to ensure there are no issues with staff members being allergic to, or afraid of, animals
  • pet friendly policies that people sign and agree to in order to access accommodation

The guidance, developed by the homeless support service Simon Community on behalf of the Scottish Government, also includes information on existing services available.

To further support this, a new Homeless Pet Friendly Officer will work in partnership with the Dog’s Trust and Simon Community, helping landlords recognise the importance and value of pets to people experiencing homelessness.

Shelter

11.19-shelter-are-you-with-us-campaign.jpgShelter Scotland have launched their latest campaign “Are You With Us?” and I am more than happy to offer my support.

The campaign is was launched after research found that 88% of people surveyed agreed that everyone in Scotland should have a legal right to a safe, secure and affordable home and that 76% support a new law being created in Scotland for adequate housing for everyone in the country.

The research also found that 78% support Shelter Scotland campaigning for stronger human rights in relation to housing.

Everyone should have the right to a safe secure affordable home and I will continue to fight for that right.

 

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