We are on conference recess and I have really enjoyed being able to spend so much more time in the constituency, where I can personally address your local concerns. I held my carer’s surgery last week and was struck by the support needed for carers of partners who have Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease, and also the supports needed for young carers with parents who have physical disability or mental health issues. Government across the UK is absolutely indebted to the work that carers provide and I am so pleased that the Scottish Government are recognising their contribution via their carer’s allowance and supportive legislation going forward. As individual parliamentarians, we must also do all that we can and I will be continuing my surgery for carers every quarter in the East Kilbride Library.
I was pleased to have the recent success delivering for our constituents in Strathaven by having the local Post Box reinstated on the corner of the street across from Lidl’s. It was particularly important for my local elderly constituents who use the post box regularly, as it is well placed for easy access, and I am delighted for them that a satisfactory outcome was achieved.
It was a privilege to attend the Third Sector Awards hosted by VASLAN in order to support all of our local groups and organisations who do such amazing volunteering. Darcy’s Equine Assisted Learning from Glassford won their category linked with providing Training Opportunities for young people. The organisation supports young people who have behavioural and emotional difficulties and engages with them in healing through horse welfare activities. This unique project does wonderful work which reaches out and is exceptionally therapeutic to those young people who struggle with emotional connection.
East Kilbride’s Agape Wellbeing and the Swap and Save One Stop Shop also did fantastically well to have their organisations nominated for awards. Agape Wellbeing do fabulous work supporting people across East Kilbride with mental health issues and in providing social support and activity groups; and the Swap and Save One Stop Shop whose logo is “swopping is the new shopping” word very hard to reduce waste and to recycle clothing protecting our environment. I was pleased to personally congratulate and to thank our local groups on the night.
I also had the pleasure of attending St Andrews St Brides High School Awards which allowed me the opportunity to present my Debating Shield Award 2018 to two very impressive pupils Neve McArthur and Jessica
Hagan. It is absolutely refreshing to see how many of our young people are developing such high level skills.
I will be back in the House of Commons this week and I have been invited to an event at Downing Street linked with my work on mental health in parliament. Our select committee report on prison mental health care and treatment will be published in the near future and I am hopeful that both recommendations for improvement in services and funding will be taken forward. Our NHS, mental health and disability continue to be my key priorities at Westminster.