Ten ‘1 July babies’ will gather at the Scottish Parliament today as an appeal to trace all children born in Scotland who share their birthday with the Parliament gathers pace.
The children, who are central to the Parliament’s plans to mark ten years of devolution, were the first to come forward after a nationwide appeal involving all 2142 primary schools in Scotland.
Letters have continued to flow into the Parliament since the birthday party was announced in October 2008, including from ‘1 July babies’ now living in England, Canada and America.
So far, 43 children have come forward and with a total of 163 children sharing this historic birthday, Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP said that officials were working hard to ensure that no ten-year-old missed out.
He said: “I am delighted that we are able to welcome ten of the 1 July babies to Holyrood today. Whilst we might be marking a decade of devolution, for these children it is an important birthday and we want to be sure they enjoy the day.
"There are more children we have yet to hear from who share this historic bond with us and we don’t want any of them to miss out on this special occasion. We would ask people to get in contact with us if they know any children born in Scotland on 1 July 1999, so that we can ensure their invitation to the birthday party at Holyrood is sent to the right place.”
Coming to Holyrood today will be:
- Megan Manfredini from Ayrshire
- Kieran Bell from East Lothian
- Abigail Richardson from Edinburgh
- Ewan Carmichael from Kirkcaldy
- Sarah Duncan from Kirkcaldy
- Lawrence Callaghan from Hertfordshire
- Erinn McDonald from Carluke
- Charlie Dingwall from Pitlochry
- William Pearson from Orkney
- Connor Moonie from Glasgow
The main activities being taken forward by the Parliament as part of the 2009 public engagement programme are:
- A tartan design competition among Scotland’s textile students.
- A range of new partnerships aimed at working with three specific groups who are under-represented in parliamentary engagement: disabled people, people from ethnic minority backgrounds, and hard-to-reach young people.
- A travelling exhibition as seen through the eyes of ten people living in Scotland. The Ten Faces of Scotland exhibition will focus on people’s experiences of engaging with the Scottish Parliament over the last decade. It will be displayed in community venues and will visit up to ten sites across the country during 2009. The exhibition will include photography by the Parliament’s photographer and interviews detailing individuals' stories.
- A new conference aimed specifically at community groups to provide more information about how to engage via the political system on local and national issues.
- New educational events designed to attract and engage a wider cross-section of young people with the Parliament and political issues.
- The Parliament will also seek to mark the 10th anniversary through existing events such as the Festival of Politics and the Dewar Debate.