Recess is always a fantastic opportunity to meet with constituents, to support local business development and to visit charities and organisations. I was particularly delighted therefore to attend East Kilbride Thistle Football Club’s charity match to support Prostrate Cancer last week and also to attend their 50th Anniversary celebrations this weekend. EK Thistle are a wonderful local club who have contributed so much to the community over half a century and have become truly part of the fabric of young people’s sports in East Kilbride. I am pleased to support them and wish them well for another 50 years!
Bowling at Red Deer Centre also contributes much to be celebrated and when I visited their match last week, I was particularly proud that it was fully inclusive, involving Wheelchair Bowls alongside bowlers from across the age span including youngsters. I was delighted to present prizes to the winners at the end of the game. During my visit, the club raised concerns to me that they had thought they were under imminent threat of closure however, with priority this week, I checked this out and I am able to say that this is confirmed not to be the case by South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture.
During my appointment with South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture, I also raised concerns about local elderly constituents who are engaged in their swimming lessons and who state they will find it difficult to pay now that subsequent courses are chargeable. I was given some reassurance that the council will aim to ensure these costs are fair and manageable but I am going along to visit the swimmers to see if there is anything further that I can do to support them. Swimming is not just great in relation to exercise and health for older people but improves wellbeing and mental health whilst reducing loneliness too.
Across the constituency, I was particularly impressed with my visit to the University of the Third Age who run a variety of language courses and personal development courses for older people in East Kilbride. I was able to hear a presentation about travel and culture and to speak myself about my work in parliament and to highlight my quarterly Carers’ Surgeries. I was also delighted to get out and about visiting care homes across the constituency last week ensuring that everyone who may need assistance is aware of my surgery dates and organising home visits where required for carers and their relatives.
Today I am going with priority to Lanarkshire Medical Group to speak with them about their successful bid to take over services at Greenhills Medical Practice. Many constituents have understandably been extremely anxious about the transfer of care and it has been important for me to advocate politically that this be managed in a streamlined manner ensuring that services remain local. After receiving a response from the Cabinet Secretary for Health last week I am pleased that this issue has been taken forward positively for our town.