Parliament Day comes to Easterhouse


People from across Glasgow can find out how their Scottish Parliament works for them, quiz local MSPs on the issues that matter, and even sit in on a Parliamentary Committee when Easterhouse hosts the Scottish Parliament on Monday March 16 at local centre The Bridge on Westerhouse Road.

Parliament Days aim to take the Parliament into communities around Scotland, inspiring local people to take an interest in and engage directly with the Parliament and its work.   

Following the first Parliament Day in 2012, Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP has extended the number of these events to provide an even greater focus on the Parliament’s public engagement across all of Scotland.  

From 5.30pm in the evening, local people are invited to a relaxed, informal Q&A session where they can quiz the Presiding Officer about how their Parliament works for them. MSPs Patrick Harvie, Paul Martin, Anne McTaggart and Humza Yousaf will be on hand to answer questions on a range of topics.  

The Presiding Officer said: 

“We know that the people of Scotland want to be involved in the political process and that is why I want the Parliament to get out and about across Scotland.  

“The Scottish Parliament belongs to all the people of Scotland and I am encouraging as many local people as possible to join us at The Bridge. Together with my fellow MSPs we are hugely looking forward to hearing from local people on their hopes for the future of Scotland. We’ll share what we’re doing and how we can work together.”  

During the afternoon, the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee will continue its inquiry into loneliness with a formal evidence session.

Committee Convener Margaret McCulloch MSP commented:  

“Everyone is welcome to come to the Bridge at 1.30pm and watch the Equal Opportunities Committee as we continue to tackle the very serious issue of social isolation and loneliness. 

“We’ll be asking a range of organisations, including Easterhouse’s FARE and People’s Gateway*, about the potentially devastating effect loneliness can have on mental and physical health, particularly in older and younger people, and ways loneliness can be tackled.”  

Ms McCulloch continued: 

“If you are an older or younger person living in Easterhouse and experiencing loneliness, we understand that sometimes feelings of loneliness can be even more intense when you live in a big city and are surrounded by people. We want to reach out to you, understand your views and encourage positive action on your behalf. 

“We know there’s a strong sense of community in Easterhouse and many people really look out for each other. Could the Committee learn from people and organisations in Easterhouse on ways to tackle loneliness? We plan to meet organisations using innovative ways to help lonely people in Scotland access the kind of social opportunities many of us take for granted.” 

Parliament Day invites people to see the Parliament first-hand, be it ‘official’ business, or on a less formal level, and helps the Parliament listen to local people. 

The Committee launched its inquiry into age and social isolation in January 2015. It is calling for views from young and older people** experiencing loneliness, and the organisations working to support them. The inquiry comes as current research points to social isolation and loneliness and its potentially devastating effect on mental and physical health, particularly in older and younger people.

Recent studies have shown that:

  • Loneliness can double the impact of obesity, and extreme loneliness can increase an older person’s chances of premature death by 14%
  • 59% of adults aged over 52 who report poor health say they feel lonely some of the time or often
  • Lacking social connections can be as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day


Formal meeting of the Equal Opportunities Committee

The Bridge, 1000 Westerhouse Road, Easterhouse, Monday 16th March 2015

Arrive 1.30pm to collect a ticket 

Meeting commences at 2.00pm 

Free entry 

Public Meeting with the Presiding Officer and local MSPs 

The Bridge, 1000 Westerhouse Road, Easterhouse, Monday 16th March 2015  


Free entry, free refreshments 

For more information, please visit

You can also follow us on twitter @scotparl and @SP_EqualOpps and #PDEasterhouse


* FARE is a grassroots charity operating from Easterhouse, Glasgow. It was established in 1989 by local people in response to the lack of support and opportunities in the community, especially for families and young people. It aims to improve life in the community by offering activities to lift people’s aspirations, enhance their standard of living, and tackle territorialism and anti-social behaviour. It uses clubs, sport and art activities, family support groups, holidays and adult mentors to engage with children, young people and adults. 

The People’s Gateway

The People’s Gateway, run by Connect Community Trust is a combined support service that helps local people make positive steps for themselves, their families and their community. These include advice on getting a job, training and volunteering; mentoring and buddy opportunities; advice on health choices and getting involved in sport, and adding structure to life or making physical and mental changes. 

**The term ‘young and older people’ is generally defined as those under-25 and over-50 years. However, as part of its call for views, the Equal Opportunities Committee will aim to establish a working definition of ‘older and young people.’

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