New partners for Holyrood Community Project

22/03/2011

Five organisations are set to team up with the Scottish Parliament as part of its innovative community project.

Action in Mind (Stirling), Dumfries & Galloway Third Sector Forum, Volunteer Centre, East Dunbartonshire, Grampian Family Support Forum, and Multi-Ethnic Aberdeen Ltd. will work with Holyrood’s staff over the next 12 months to gain first-hand practical experience of how to interact and engage with the Scottish Parliament.

Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP said:

“The Scottish Parliament has always been a parliament for the people – and this valuable and innovative community project has proved to be an effective way to reach out and connect with groups identified as being under-represented at Holyrood.

“Over the coming months, our partners will learn how to build a campaign and call for change in their communities. This project is an excellent example of how people can become more actively involved in the political process.”

The groups came to the Parliament on 11 March to attend the Outcomes Conference for the second phase of Holyrood’s Community Partnerships Project and meet previous participants of the programme.

Paul O’Kane of Volunteer Centre East Dunbartonshire said:

“We are delighted to have been selected as a Community Partner of the Scottish Parliament. Volunteers and staff are very excited about the potential this project offers. We are all looking forward to learning more about our Parliament and really getting involved in its work.”

Joyce Harkness representing Dumfries & Galloway Third Sector Forum said:

“We are delighted to have been selected to participate in this unique Community Partnerships Programme. It will give Third Sector Forum members and their stakeholders the chance to learn about how the Scottish Parliament works and how we can influence Scottish policy. By being part of the Partnership project we have the potential to make a difference to the lives of older people, not only in Dumfries & Galloway but throughout Scotland. “

Dr Godfrey Joseph of Multi-Ethnic Aberdeen Ltd said:

“We are deeply thrilled and honoured that the Scottish Parliament has extended their support to MeAL for another year, and we very much look forward to partnering the Parliament for the third phase of the Community Partnerships Project. Our involvement in phase three will focus on formal engagement with the Parliament, where the MeAL Ambassadors will concentrate on the issues that have arisen from our findings in stage two. This will be achieved by effectively working with the formal parliamentary processes in order to highlight some of the issues faced by different ethnic groups. This will be a challenge, but with the dedication of the volunteers and the continued support from the Parliament’s Education & Community Partnerships Team, we will endeavour to tackle these issues to make a positive difference to people’s lives.”

Sheila McKay, co-founder of Grampian Family Support Forum said

“We are absolutely delighted to have been selected to take part in the Community Partnerships Project during the forthcoming year. During the course of the project we hope to increase the Forum membership and highlight to MSPs the barriers which families of people with drug addiction problems face when seeking support.”

Helena Scott, Executive Director of Action in Mind, Stirling said:

“We are delighted to have been selected to take part in the Scottish Parliament’s Community Partnerships Project and look forward to a challenging year ahead during which time we hope to raise awareness of mental health and its impact on individuals and communities.   This is a unique opportunity for us to work directly with elected members and to increase their understanding of mental health, but also for them to hear first hand the voices of people affected directly by mental-ill health”.

Scottish Parliament Community Partnerships Project

Believed to be the first of its kind, the Scottish Parliament’s Community Partnerships Project is now entering its third phase. The project was launched in November 2008 to give a voice to people typically under-represented in political life.

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