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After being nominated by Mary Fee MSP, Margaret McDougall MSP participated in the Ice bucket challenge for Motor Neuron Disease Scotland.
Margaret McDougall MSP, said; “It was great to take part in the challenge and I certainly got a good soaking out of it, thanks to my staff for that!”
“As part of the challenge I have nominated Councillor David O’Neill, Margaret Burgess MSP and Joe Cullinane.”
“I have also donated to MNDScotland and wish the charity ever success in the future in tackling Motor Neuron Disease. If people wish to find out more they can visit MNDScotland or Gordon’s Fightback.”
Margaret McDougall MSP for West Region will be wearing a gold ribbon this September to support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Thousands of families deal with the devastating impact of a cancer diagnosis and its treatment every month. Treatment for children is often gruelling and can start immediately, last as long as three years and take place many miles from home.
CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading charity supporting children and young people with cancer, is asking elected representatives across the UK to join us in raising awareness of the impact of cancer and children and their families during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Margaret Mcdougall, said: “I am delighted to support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and will be wearing my gold ribbon to show that I’m standing by the thousands of families who are coping with childhood cancer.
“This campaign will help to raise awareness of the impact that childhood cancer has on families in North Ayrshire which is why I’m urging everyone to wear a gold ribbon this September to show they are standing by those families too.”
Lucy Caldicott, CLIC Sargent Director of Fundraising, said: “We’re so pleased Margaret Mcdougall will be wearing a gold ribbon and supporting Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
“Every month, thousands of children and their families have to cope with the devastating impact of a cancer diagnosis. Cancer treatment for children is often gruelling and can start immediately, last as long as three years and take place many miles from home. CLIC Sargent is here to provide vital practical, emotional and financial support from diagnosis onwards.
“Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is a great opportunity for everyone in North Ayrshire to show they are standing by children with cancer.”
Margaret McDougall MSP has pledged to support Prostate Cancer UK in its drive to eradicate the injustices faced by men with, and at risk of, prostate cancer in Scotland.
Despite being the most common male cancer, men continue to face a number of injustices surrounding awareness, treatments and support, geography, age, and ethnicity.
Prostate Cancer UK has published a document outlining these five key inequalities, along with a solution designed to tackle each one. The charity is working with MSPs to call on the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland to implement these changes to make the inequalities a thing of the past.
The ‘Men United v Prostate Cancer – Five Inequalities, Five Solutions’ document comes as part of the second wave of the charity’s Men United campaign, which uses the language of sport to engage men in the battle against the disease. Key calls to action include: the incorporation of prostate cancer in the Detect Cancer Early initiative, the introduction of at least one specialist centre for robot-assisted prostate surgery in Scotland and the development of a National Cancer Patient Experience Survey for Scotland.
Margaret McDougall MSP met men and women whose lives have been directly or indirectly touched by prostate cancer at an event at Holyrood to hear at first hand about the inequalities men continue to face, and to show her support for Prostate Cancer UK’s calls.
Margaret McDougall MSP said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and is predicted to be the most common cancer overall by 2030. Despite this men and their families continue to face difficulties relating to awareness of risk factors, treatments and support, geography, age, and ethnicity. I want to ensure that all men in Scotland have the information, treatment options and support they need to tackle this terrible disease regardless of their age, ethnicity or post code – and am delighted to team up with Prostate Cancer UK today to work towards this outcome together.”
Dr Sarah Cant, Director of Policy and Strategy at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “For too long men with, or at risk of, prostate cancer in Scotland have faced inequalities of care, information and support. For example, despite being the most common cancer in men, prostate cancer has yet to be included in the Detect Cancer Early initiative. Furthermore, there are 33 facilities for robot-assisted prostate surgery in England, but none in Scotland. Scotland also remains the only part of the UK with no plans for a National Cancer Patient Experience Survey, which would give us key information to help drive improvements in care and support. These are just some of the actions we call for in ‘5 Inequalities, 5 Solutions’ and are delighted that Margaret McDougall MSP has committed to helping us fight for these longstanding wrongs to be righted.”
For more information on the injustices faced by men living with or at risk of prostate cancer in Scotland visit: http://prostatecanceruk.org/media/2385585/inequalities-report-scotland.pdf
Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer can call Prostate Cancer UK’s confidential information service on 0800 074 8383 or visit http://www.prostatecanceruk.org. Telephone calls are free to landlines, staffed by specialist nurses, and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am until 8pm on Wednesdays.
Following questions raised by Margaret McDougall MSP and a Parliament Debate we are still lacking key answers on both Currency and Taxation ahead of the Independence Referendum.
Margaret McDougall MSP, said: “I find it incredulous that with less than 5 weeks to go till the Referendum, we still lack answers to basic questions such as what currency Scotland would use in the event of the Yes vote. We are told that Scotland would have a Currency Union, yet this is up to the rest of the United Kingdom to agree to and it would mean handing key fiscal levers over to a central bank in a foreign country while losing our current Political Influence.”
“Sterlingsation is even less viable given Scotland would have no lender of last resort and it could seriously damage our Financial Services Industry as without a lender of last resort banks with Headquarters in Scotland would have to seriously consider relocating their Headquarters to England, the Financial Services Industry accounts for 9% of total Scottish Gross Domestic Product.”
“While on taxation, the Finance Secretary, John Swinney MSP, tells us that there would need to be no tax increases in the event of Scotland voting Yes. However, this flies in the face of expert advice from bodies such as the Institute of Fiscal Studies, the Centre for Public Policy for Regions, the Pensions Policy Institute and Professor Michael Keating of the University of Aberdeen all who tell us that Scotland would either have to raise taxes or cut spending in an independent Scotland and none of the nationalists promises could be delivered unless this happens.”
“So far the nationalists have no answers and no credibility and that’s why it’s a no thanks from me.”
The programme, currently run in the Magnum is an intensive training course over 8 weeks combining 2 hours of football and 2 hours employability training after. The young people also work towards an SQA qualification.
Margaret McDougall, MSP, said: “This is a great programme, using a combination of football and training to engage with and retain young people but to provide them with intensive employability training over an 8 week period.
“Not only does it keep young people fit, but gets them qualifications and hopefully after the programme they can move in to employment, education or training with their new skills.
“This is an amazingly innovative programme aimed at finding positive destinations for young people. The participants I met were enjoying the course and were feeling confident about their future. I wish them every success and hope other employability charities follow Street League’s example and start looking at other ways to engage and retain young people.”
SNP lead North Ayrshire Council conducted a review in to Arran Outdoor Education Centre’s has earmarked the centre’s Mainland services to be scrapped in a plan that will allegedly improve the sustainability of the centre and will deliver a saving of £53,843.
Last year the mainland centre provided access to activities to 7000 young people and adults within North Ayrshire and beyond. They also provide services to schools, community groups and events, working with people from Nursery to Retirement age.
Margaret McDougall MSP, said: “Cutting the mainland services is not consistent with North Ayrshire Council’s objective of maintaining a high quality service for young people within North Ayrshire. Last year the mainland service provided access to activities to 7000 young people and adults within North Ayrshire and beyond. The service also takes bookings from School in the area but as of November was told it should take no more bookings, which had an adverse effect on the centres income.
“Through-out the whole review process no consultation has taken place with the Arran Outdoor Education Centre despite North Ayrshire council claiming they have conducted a range of consultations with both internal and external stakeholders.
“By removing this service they appear to be reducing the opportunities available for thousands of children and hundreds of adults which is not consistent with NAC Commumity Planning objectives. By not engaging with the centre they are falling to give them an opportunity to look at ways they could increase their commercial viability and equally increase the promotion of the service. SNP lead North Ayrshire Council should be looking at ways to better utilise the service to increase sustainability rather than cutting it.
Following a visit to the Marine Station, Margaret McDougall, MSP said:
“It was a great pleasure to visit the Field Studies Council (FSC) Marine Station in Millport. There were great concerns last year when it was feared it would close through lack of funding. However, after receiving funding from the FSC, North Ayrshire Council and the Scottish Government the marine station is undergoing a transformation.
“Although some posts have been lost, Daniel Moncrieff, Head of the FSC in Scotland is enthusiastic about the future of the Marine Station. Already internal restructuring has been carried out in the main building, providing modern teaching rooms and student facilities. Bigger changes are yet to come with the modernisation of the student accommodation block and work to both the aquarium and museum.
“Daniel and his team are full of ideas to revitalise the Marine station and make it more sustainable. The reputation of the station has meant that they have retained many of the University clients and are hoping to attract more as well as attracting primary and secondary schools. Eventually they hope to provide short course for adults and families to explore marine and wild life in their natural habitats.
“I was greatly encouraged to see the work that has been done already and very much look forward to seeing the completed works in spring next year.”
Daniel Moncrieff, Head of FSC Scotland, added:
“It was a privilege to have the opportunity to show Margaret McDougall around FSC Millport and discuss our building and development plans for the site; particularly after the support she gave last year helping to ensure the station continued beyond 2013.”
Local MSP Margaret McDougall joined more than 100 ENABLE Scotland members and friends at the Scottish Parliament recently for an event to mark the charity’s proud 60th anniversary.
To coincide with Learning Disability Awareness Week, the event included a debate hosted by Jackie Baillie MSP, convenor of the cross-party group on learning disability in the Scottish Parliament.
More than 20 MSPs, who each received commemorative ENABLE Scotland tartan scarves and ties, flocked to the event for news and debate about the most pressing issues facing people with a learning disability and the services on which they rely.
Among the visitors was ENABLE Scotland member, Liam Clark, of Cambuslang.
Liam said: “It was a pleasure to visit the Scottish Parliament and to meet Jackie Baillie. The building is impressive, inside and out, and it was great to have the opportunity to take lots of pictures.
“I was pleased to be able to witness the debate and hear about current issues. I was very proud to be a part of this important day in ENABLE Scotland’s 60th year.”
Commenting after the event, Margaret McDougall MSP said: “I was delighted to be able to attend the ENABLE Scotland 60th anniversary celebration in the Scottish Parliament, and it was a real pleasure to see so many members and volunteers from the organisation come together from communities across Scotland, including my own. I was happy to sign the motion in Parliament recognising the rights of people who have learning disabilities, and to wear my ENABLE Scotland tartan to raise awareness throughout Learning Disability Week. I wish ENABLE Scotland and all of its members and supporters another successful 60 years!”
Peter Scott, CEO at ENABLE Scotland, added: “Our anniversary year and our mission to give every person with a learning disability the choice and control to live the lives they choose was again brought into sharp focus during our recent pilgrimage to the Scottish Parliament.
“Our members and supporters took many valuable messages and ideas from the visit, and our thanks go to everyone who contributed to such a memorable milestone event.”
Scottish charity Volunteer Scotland is celebrating the diversity of volunteers this year. 2014 is a significant year for volunteering in Scotland and a great time to be celebrating the contribution volunteers make – from the 15,000 Clyde-siders at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games to thousands of volunteers who keep their local sports clubs alive. Volunteers everywhere are at the heart of Scotland’s communities and making them better places.
As Scotland readies itself for the Commonwealth Games, this year also marks three decades of promoting the value and worth of volunteers through two major events – 30th anniversaries of both Volunteer Scotland, the national body for volunteering, and Volunteers’ Week which is an annual event celebrating the difference millions of volunteers make across the UK.
The Scottish Parliament took the opportunity to join celebrations marking 30 years of Volunteer Scotland and Volunteers’ Week.
George Thomson, Chief Executive of Volunteer Scotland, says: We’re delighted with the tremendous cross party support and leadership for volunteering shown by our MSPs. In Scotland each year, 30% of adults give over 160 million hours of precious time in a vast range of community settings. This makes a huge difference to people, to the economy, to services, and the environment… and all done with a smile! Volunteers’ Week celebrates the good in volunteering and as we look ahead to the changes of the next 30 years one thing I’m sure is that volunteering will continue to be friendly, uplifting and rewarding.”
Pledging their support for Volunteers’ Week and Volunteer Scotland, MSPs stressed the value to local communities of greater local involvement in voluntary action and pledged to help raise awareness throughout Scotland.
Margaret McDougall MSP was among the first to support the campaign.
“I’d like to congratulate Volunteer Scotland on their 30th anniversary and wish them continued success in the important work they do.”
“With the buzz around the Commonwealth Games now is a great time to be involved in volunteering, volunteers are at the heart of communities and its vital that we offer them support and opportunities. We should also be looking to get more people involved in volunteering even if it’s only an hour a week.”
“We have a rich tapestry of community involvement and those involved should be recognised for their efforts and the positive perspective of the West Region that they contribute towards.”