Thursday 5 December 2019
Double celebrations this year with not just the Parliament celebrating 20 years but Parentline also and I was delighted to attend the reception in the Parliament this week.
With a hand from hundreds of fully trained and highly skilled volunteers, thousands of families across Scotland have become stronger and their children have grown up happier and safer, over the past two decades.
Volunteers are at the heart of the Parentline service providing trauma-informed support to any adult caring for a child and demonstrating that helping children starts with supporting families. In recent years the service has moved to become a fully-digital family support hub, using the latest technology to increase the support Parentline offers through digital channels as well as the phone service.
You can find out more about their service here: https://www.children1st.org.uk/help-for-families/parentline-scotland/
Childhood Abuse Support
A fund to offer support to survivors of childhood abuse in care has lowered the qualifying age of applicants to help more people.
Coming in with immediate effect, this will benefit survivors who may not live long enough to apply to the statutory redress scheme when it is established.
The Advance Payment Scheme provides acknowledgement to those who were abused in care in Scotland and who are terminally-ill or aged 68 or over.
More than 270 applicants have received a flat rate payment of £10,000 since the scheme opened on 25 April.
You can make contact by calling free on 0808 169 9740 (phone lines are open Monday to Thursday, 10am to 4pm) or email at AdvancePaymentTeam@gov.scot by post to Freepost ADVANCE PAYMENT and overseas caller should dial +44 131 528 5400
It was great to see representatives from Impact Arts exhibiting in the Scottish Parliament this week.
Impact Arts is a forward thinking community arts organisation using arts and creativity to tackle inequalities across Scotland.
They enable and empower social change, aiming to help people to build confidence, attain new skills, get back into work or education, source work in the creative arts, improve health, wellbeing and quality of life.
The projects take place across Scotland with artists and creators predominantly, but not exclusively, working with vulnerable groups including children, young people, older people and local communities.
Impact Arts has strong ethos of partnership working in collaboration with a variety of partners including Third Sector, Local and National Government, Prisons and Housing Associations. They develop and deliver commissioned projects which help their partners fulfil their aims and target social challenges.
You can find out more here: https://www.impactarts.co.uk/
The definition of what constitutes a defamatory statement is to be set out in Scots law for the first time under draft legislation published this week.
The Defamation and Malicious Publication Bill – if passed by parliament – will simplify and modernise defamation law. It will also ensure that a better balance is struck between protecting someone’s reputation and freedom of expression.
Other proposed changes include recognising a defence of publication on a matter of public interest, and ensuring that action can only be brought if the published statement caused (or would be likely to cause) serious harm to the reputation of the person making a complaint.
The Bill seeks to prevent defamation actions being brought against “secondary publishers” – those other than the authors, editors or commercial publishers of material containing defamatory statements – with certain exceptions, for example where the harm caused by publication is materially increased because it has been republished to a much larger audience.
Glasgow Times Campaign
The Glasgow Times have launched their Bank.On.Us festive foodbank appeal which aims to help ensure the city’s foodbanks are well stocked through December, when families are likely to experience increased financial pressures due to rising heating bills.
The newspaper inserted a paper bag into their editions this week and asked readers to drop a few items in and take it to your nearest foodbank.
I am more than happy to lend my support to the campaign and would encourage everyone who can to do the same.
If you didn’t pick up your copy with the bag you can always fill another bag and the paper have a fleet of vans ready and waiting courtesy of First Bus and City Building who will be collecting bags from a number of city centre locations including the Glasgow Times offices at 200 Renfield Street.
You can also help to get the message out through Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #bankonus
Good news this week with Third-sector organisations set to increase the availability of services for mums at risk of poor mental health during and after pregnancy.
A grant of £225,000 has been allocated to 11 organisations as part of a £1 million investment in perinatal mental health services for mums and families announced by the Health Secretary Jeane Freeman in August.
All the organisations will also be offered additional perinatal mental health training for staff.