SNP MSP Christina McKelvie has welcomed confirmation that families across Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse who are unable to access food due to coronavirus will get support from the Scottish Government.

Local authorities are sharing £30 million of new investment from the Scottish Government Food fund to support those struggling.

South Lanarkshire have been allocated £1.937 million from the fund. The funding is one part of the £350 million Communities Fund announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government Aileen Campbell MSP in March.

The funding will support those most in need including families with children who are eligible for free school meals, older people, those with long-term health conditions and pregnant women.

Councils will have flexibility to use this additional resource in ways that best meet emerging local needs and circumstances, working with community groups and businesses to support home delivery, provide financial help and meet dietary requirements.

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Commenting, Christina said:

“Coronavirus has brought enormous disruption to all of our lives, and some people will be concerned about accessing food.

“This investment will help those living in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse Constituency who are most at risk, such as older people and children eligible for free school meals, to access food through this unprecedented crisis.

“Free school meals are vital for families across the area and are an important way of ensuring children receive the nutritious food they need. That is why it is so important that support continues while schools remain closed. 

“This is just one part of the support the Scottish Government is providing to individuals and businesses to protect jobs and incomes.”

Christina McKelvie MSP lent her support to Marie Curie’s big fundraising appeal month, the Great Daffodil Appeal, at an event at Scottish Parliament on the 12th of March.

 

Meeting with staff and volunteers from Marie Curie, Ms McKelvie was interested to hear about care and support provided to people living with terminal illness in Scotland.

 

Marie Curie supported over 7,500 people in Scotland last year through their hospices, nursing care and support services. In Central Scotland last year, Marie Curie Nurses made over 3,700 visits to care for terminally ill people in their own homes.

 

Everyone donating and wearing a daffodil pin in March helps Marie Curie provide vital care for people living with a terminal illness and support for their families. Marie Curie hopes to raise £700,000 this Great Daffodil Appeal.

 

Christina McKelvie MSP said: 

 

''It was lovely to attend this event for Marie Curie.

 

They are a fantastic charity and it was very interesting to here about their progress and the support they are providing for people living with terminal illness''

 

Richard Meade, Head of Policy and Public Affairs Scotland at Marie Curie said: “Thank you to Christina McKelvie MSP for her support.

“Whether you wear a daffodil pin in celebration, in solidarity or in memory of a loved one, you are joining with millions of others to help make sure all dying people get the care and support they deserve.”

 

Donate and wear your daffodil now. Visit mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil, SEARCH ‘Marie Curie Daffodil’ or text DAFF to 70099 to donate £5*. *Texts cost £5 plus your standard network rate. Marie Curie receives 98% of your donation.

Christina McKelvie MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse welcomed Disclosure Scotlands announcement that they would be scrapping all fees for key workers and volunteers who are being drafted to help Scotland fight against coronavirus.

This is a temporary measure which will be in place for an initial period of 6 weeks, before being reviewed and extended further, if needed.

As thousands of people across the country offer their support, this move will alleviate financial pressures on those who need a disclosure, avoid unnecessary administrative burdens, and stop any delays caused by payment issues.

The list of key worker & key volunteer roles are; healthcare, pharmaceutical, childcare, social work, social care, prisons and justice. As the situation develops and evolves, the list of prioritised sectors may change as Disclosure Scotland identifies other sectors with roles critical to supporting the Scottish Government during this crisis.

In addition, Disclosure Scotland has already put a number of temporary measures in place to ensure the country can be properly resourced to tackle COVID-19, including only processing applications for workers deemed critical to helping the nation overcome coronavirus.

Disclosure Scotland is working closely with colleagues in the NHS, CoSLA, and the social care sector to understand exactly what is needed at this time. 

 

Christina said:

"This is an incredibly welcome move from the Scottish Government. The work done by Disclosure Scotland is incredibly important to ensure the safeguarding our children and other vulnerable adults and much volunteering requires the checks provided as part of this.

"We have seen an incredible upsurge in community spirit as a result of the challenges we face and it is only right that we all work together to remove as many barriers from volunteers as we safely can." 

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Keeping up with you

Hello and welcome to all of you in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse.

Thank you for taking a moment to look at this email. I want to keep everyone in touch with what’s going on in the constituency and what it might mean for you.

My door is open to anyone who seeks advice and support, so you can  phone or email me at any time.

You also have the option of visiting  constituency surgeries on Mondays. You don't need to make an appointment.

If you haven’t yet subscribed to receive your personalised copy of this newsletter, which we are sending out every two weeks, then please do  sign up here.

Back to School, back to costs!


Pupils from across all of South Lanarkshire have been helped out with the price of school uniforms. COSLA confirmed that all 32 local authorities have implemented an increase for school clothing grant. 

The £100 minimum grant to all eligible families was put in place for the start of the academic year, relieving the financial pressure for South Lanarkshire families and pupils as they return to school. 

This announcement from the Scottish Government will provide real, tangible help to families feeling the strain. 

We all know the stress and pressure that the return to school can bring, with clothes, shoes, bags and all the accessories. 

In South Lanarkshire, we have already made great strides in providing pupils with school clothing through the Back to School Bank. 

It's great to see our Scottish Government taking an action that provides real help.


Motor Neurone Disease 

Some of you already know that I take a close interest in living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), as my own father did for many years before he died.

In June, just before we went off for the summer holidays, we marked MND Awareness Week. 

The Scottish Government has invested £2.5 million annually in the Specialist Nursing and Care Fund since 2015, more than doubling the number of MND specialist nurses across Scotland.


The new Health and Social Care Standards, introduced in April, seek to provide better personal outcomes for everyone and to ensure that the basic human rights we are all entitled to are upheld.

Everyone is entitled to care that meets their needs and upholds their rights.

The Euan MacDonald Centre, at Edinburgh University, https://www.euanmacdonaldcentre.org was started up with funds from Euan - just 29 when he was diagnosed - and his father, Donald. It's a fantastic resource, and I was directly involved with Euan on the building of a voicebank for patients to access, allowing them to pick out a voice sound that is closest to their own natural voice.




The Scottish Government recognise that research is essential for the development of new and effective approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of Motor Neurone Disease – investing in both research capacity and in bringing MND studies to Scotland.
 
Are you being scammed?

Watch out! What do you know about skimming or fake ATMs? The cleverer technology gets, the cleverer online scammers get to keep up. Phishing, harvesting, identity theft, hacked information such as BA's embarrassment last week. British Airways is facing a possible fine of around £500 million over a data breach that compromised 380,000 card payments after regulators said they were "making inquiries" into the incident.

 

So I took up the cause at Larkhall Trinity Church last week and invited in experts to explain more.

The ‘Scam Awareness Surgery’ was designed to make sure the citizens of Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse are made more aware of the latest scams and frauds. 

Research from Citizens Advice Scotland had shown that over 61% of over 65s have been approached by a scammer. Other schemes include computer repair/ phishing scams and home and identity fraud

Scammers can target anyone, but especially older people and anyone who has a vulnerability that makes them an easier target.

I thought it was important to give you the opportunity to ask questions and find out how best to protect yourselves against this ever more sophisticated form of theft.

Thanks especially to Hamilton Citizens Advice Bureau, Trading Standards and Police Scotland for coming along to give east to understand help and guidance that will make sure people here are more protected and secure whether that's at an ATM or purchasing something online.

I'll be back in a couple of weeks with more news.