Christina McKelvie MSP aims to provide for young people
With pupils across the country preparing to go back to school, 16,318 children in South Lanarkshire will be eligible for free school meals this year, it has been revealed.
Data released from the Scottish Government’s Healthy Living Survey, conducted in February 2017, shows that over 250,000 pupils will be eligible for free school lunches – a figure that has doubled in the last three years.
As a range of measures designed to eliminate child poverty, in 2015, the SNP Government pledged to introduce free school meals for pupils in primary 1-3. It is estimated that the move could save families up to £380 per year, with additional benefits upon learning and attainment as a result of free school meals.
Commenting, SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie said:
“It’s welcome news that 16,318 of school pupils in South Lanarkshire are eligible for free school meals – an integral part of ensuring that every child gets the best start in life. Alongside the nutritional benefits of a healthy meal, this initiative with also help reduce the attainment gap, one of the central pledges of the Scottish Government.
“Guaranteeing our youngest pupils a healthy meal during the school day not only helps them learn, but it is estimated it can save families an estimated £380 a year.
“This is just one of the steps the SNP Scottish Government is taking to tackle child poverty and help household incomes – and is an essential part of our central ambition to drive up standards in Scottish schools.
“Teachers, staff and pupils remain absolutely critical in driving up these standards in our schools and I wish every single one of them all the best for the upcoming school term.”
MSP Christina McKelvie on hand to donate charitable cheque
The Friends of Stonehouse Park had plenty to celebrate at their annual summer fun day this past Sunday 13th of August.
The ‘Bounce and Boogie BBQ’, which took place in Alexander Memorial Park, was organised by the Friends of Stonehouse Park with local MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie, on hand to partake in the celebration.
Ms.McKelvie, who recently completed an annual YouGov research survey, donated her participation fee to the Friends of Stonehouse Park in tribute to the inspiring work they do within the community.
Commenting on the donation, Christina McKelvie said:
“The Fun Day organised by the Friends of Stonehouse Park is yet another incredible example of the outstanding community spirit within my constituency.
“From scavenger hunts, community engagement and the redevelopment of the park, Friends of Stonehouse Park have been a constant source of community involvement and I was delighted to present this cheque to them.
“Every year, MSPs are asked to take part in survey consultations which offer compensation for our participation. I would much rather see this fee in the hands of local, inspiring organisations such as Friends of Stonehouse Park, who always reinvest it back into the community.
Commenting on the fun day and cheque donation, FOSP secretary, Karen Kelly, added:
“As usual, the fun day was a roaring success with great support from everyone within Stonehouse and beyond.
“I was delighted to receive the cheque from Christina, who has always supported our efforts within Stonehouse Park.
“The money donated will go towards our running costs which will ensure that we can fund more fun and exciting days, free of charge, for everyone within the community.
Christina McKelvie MSP aims to give children 'best start in life'
The nation-wide roll-out of the Scottish Government’s Baby Box has begun this week, with all babies due on or after August 15th being eligible for the scheme.
Following successful pilot programmes in Orkney and Clackmannanshire, the Baby Box, containing essential items such as clothing, changing mats, interactive play items and blankets, will be made available to all mothers and babies expecting after August 15th.
Through the scheme, the Scottish Government aim to tackle deprivation and health inequality, giving each child, regardless of circumstances, equal support and assistance.
The move has been welcomed by SNP MSP Christina McKelvie, who said:
“The Baby Box is a strong signal of our intent to give every child the best possible start in life. Irrespective of circumstances and straight from birth, every child will be treated equally.
“It contains a range of practical items, such as blankets, clothes, thermometers and the box itself can double up as a crib - meeting the highest British Safety Standards.
“I’m thrilled and, above all, proud that the Scottish Government has taken this important step. This is just one of the measures that will improve health and decrease deprivation throughout my constituency.”
Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood said:
“All the evidence shows that the early years are crucial for children’s development. What happens then can be linked to outcomes much later in life. So we know that measures undertaken in the 0-3 years’ age range have the opportunity to make the biggest impact.
“That is why we have been working hard to enhance the existing infrastructure available to support families in these crucial early years from before birth all the way up to school age and beyond.
“Over and above the practical benefits the items within the Baby Box provide, the box itself also offers healthcare professionals a unique opportunity to introduce expectant parents to a wide range of health promotion information."