It has been a busy few weeks within East Renfrewshire as we have been promoting the Scottish Youth Parliament’s national campaign, Care.Fair.Share.
Firstly, Neil Wood MSYP and I, along with our amazing support worker, Emma Ball, met with Ken Macintosh MSP to discuss the aims of the campaign. We had a great discussion where he gave us advice, asked us questions, and pledged his support to the campaign. It was a hugely successful meeting, and I came away feeling encouraged that he believes in the campaign as passionately as we do. Following our meeting together, Mr Macintosh went on to submit three questions to the Scottish Government. The questions are as follows:
Question S4W-21617: Ken Macintosh, Eastwood, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/06/2014
To ask the Scottish Government how it will address anomalies in the administration of the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) identified by the Scottish Youth Parliament’s Care.Fair.Share. Campaign that result in many young carers losing their EMA entitlement.
Question S4W-21618: Ken Macintosh, Eastwood, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/06/2014
To ask the Scottish Government what additional (a) funding and (b) bursary opportunities it will offer young carers who find it difficult to afford further education due to their caring responsibilities as highlighted by the Scottish Youth Parliament’s Care.Fair.Share. campaign.
Question S4W-21619: Ken Macintosh, Eastwood, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/06/2014
To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to alleviate the cost of travel for young carers between school, work and home to fulfil their caring and education duties.
In addition to this, Mr Macintosh once again pledged his support to Rhoda Grant MSP’s motion.
Following the success of this meeting, Emma and I attended an event in Eastwood Park Theatre celebrating the first ever National Young Carers Day. The day was filled with amazing testimonies from young carers who completely inspired me by sharing their stories about the work they do on a daily basis. The young carers’ group had created a film highlighting the struggles and challenges they face in their caring role. I then spoke to the audience and shared information about the Scottish Youth Parliament’s campaign. Our pledge board was signed by local councillors (including Provost Carmichael), council officials, young carers, and everyone else who believes that caring should not mean compromise.
After the formal part of the event, we then went on to enjoy a lunch and take part in a range of activities from juggling balloons, to creating our very own super hero young carer, to playing a huge game of zap. Young carers never fail to inspire me, and the success of the event is a testimony to the amazing and talented young carers in East Renfrewshire, who I would like to thank for allowing me to be a part of such a great day.
Nicole Dempster MSYP