Thursday 31 May 2018
Freedom to Run
I was delighted to host the participants from Freedom to Run and Palestine based Right to Movement in the Scottish Parliament this week.
They are a collaboration of Scottish and Palestinian runners brought together to film a documentary highlighting the barriers Palestinians face on a daily basis even doing something as simple as attempting to run a marathon.
Both groups participated in the Palestine Marathon in March of this year and the Palestinian runners joined the Scottish runners at the weekend to participate in the Edinburgh Marathon.
In order to complete the documentary Freedom to Run have set up a crowdfunder here https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/freedom-to-run-sports#/ if you would like to find out more about the partnership and their journey please visit the site and if you can please make a donation.
Stage 1 of the Planning Bill was debated in the Parliament this week and I took the opportunity to participate highlighting the issue of developers and the huge rise in the number of student accommodation developments across the constituency.
As many of you will know this is an issue which I have been campaigning on for quite some time. I understand we have a huge student population across the constituency and there is a need for suitable accommodation. However, we also have a need for good quality affordable housing and with limited supplies of available land the current situation is making this impossible to realise.
You can read my full contribution here: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=11566&i=104862
I was delighted to meet up with representatives from Play Scotland when they made their annual journey to the Scottish Parliament this week.
I was a little disappointed that they hadn’t brought along their trampoline which I tried out last year however I did have a go at hopscotch!
Play Scotland works to deliver and promote Article 31 in Scotland which states “Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities”.
Play Scotland works to promote the importance of play for all children and young people, and campaigns to create increased play opportunities in the community.
From promoting play for families, learning through play, play for health and encouraging children to get out into their local communities and play.
They have a huge amount of creative play ideas on their website and you can check them out at http://www.playscotland.org/
Great news this week with Glasgow’s bid to home Channel 4’s National Headquarters in Scotland and a Creative Hub reaching the shortlist. To mark this success, I lodged the following motion in the Scottish Parliament:
G4C4 Bid That the Parliament welcomes the news that Glasgow has made the shortlist for the location for establishing a national headquarters for Channel 4, as well as a creative hub to be established in 2019; understands that this will be home to 300 Channel 4 jobs, including key creative decision makers, with the intention to grow over time; commends the board, which includes Glasgow City Council with support from the Scottish Government, as well as high-level representation from the city’s creative industries, and encourages everyone to sign up and back the bid at http://www.g4c4.tv
This would be an incredible achievement for the city with an estimated 300 jobs coming to Glasgow if the bid is successful.
The board led by Glasgow City Council with support from the Scottish Government and many other high profile representatives from the creative industries are to be commended on making it to the shortlist and I will certainly be giving my full backing to the bid.
You can find out more and give your support here www.g4c4.tv
I was delighted to attend the Scottish Drugs Forum Addiction Worker Training Project Completion Ceremony in the Scottish Parliament this week.
This was a fantastic event celebrating the achievements of the trainees and the success of the project with contributions from Scottish Drugs Forum CEO David Liddell (pictured).
The project which started in 2004 is a unique initiative which supports, trains, and prepares individuals with a history of problematic drug and alcohol use to work in Social Care.
Scottish Drugs Forum works in partnership with accredited learning providers and alongside drug and alcohol services throughout Glasgow to provide the training for the students, who include people who were formerly homeless and ex-offenders who have previously experienced multiple barriers to employment.
I was privileged to be part of the awards ceremony and commend the determination and commitment shown by the trainees. I wish them all the very best of luck.
A new way of monitoring and recording bullying in Scottish schools will be introduced this autumn.
The standardised approach will make it easier for teachers to identify trends and address the problem.
Updated guidance will be issued to schools and local authorities setting out how to consistently record information about the type and prevalence of bullying, to help them further support pupils.
To support the roll out of this guidance, the Scottish Government funded anti-bullying service ‘respectme’ will continue its work with local authorities and other organisations working with children and young people to build confidence and capacity to address bullying effectively.
Great news for young people living in the EU with the DiscoverEU initiative, which will provide young people from across the EU with an opportunity for a funded travel experience to explore Europe.
The scheme will enable free rail travel in up to four countries between 9 July and 30 September 2018. The applications are open for people from all 28 EU member states who are aged 18 on 1 June 2018 and they have from 2 to 26 June to apply.
You can find out more here: http://www.youdiscover.eu/faq