Secondary school pupils from Motherwell will have the opportunity to find out more about how their communities can plan for the resettlement of refugees as part of the town’s Parliament Day on Monday 9 November.
The pupils, from Braidhurst High School, Our Lady's High School and Firpark Secondary have been invited to take part in a panel discussion, chaired by the Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee, Christina McKelvie MSP.
Joining Ms McKelvie on the panel will be Councillor O’Rourke from North Lanarkshire Council, Derek Mitchell of local government body, COSLA, and John Wilkes from the Scottish Refugee Council.
Christina McKelvie MSP explained:
“Our committee has been examining Scotland’s readiness to provide support for the thousands of men, women and children seeking refuge from war, famine and poverty on European shores. We’ve heard harrowing testimony from Scots involved in the relief efforts in the Mediterranean.
“Our focus now is ensuring that our communities are ready to offer all the services that will be required to ensure the successful integration of refugees. Not just housing, but education, healthcare and social services will be vital.
“There’s an important role for our schools and education services more generally, so it is important that young people have the opportunity to contribute to these discussions.”
Holyrood’s Parliament Day initiative, introduced by the Presiding Officer the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP, takes the Parliament into communities around Scotland, encouraging local people to take an interest in and engage directly with the Parliament and its work.
In the evening from 5:30pm, local people are also invited to an informal Q&A session, hosted by the Presiding Officer, where they can quiz MSPs about how their Parliament works for them.
Members of the local community are invited to come along and find out more, with refreshments available.
Parliament Day Motherwell will be held at the GLO Centre, 78 Muir Street, Motherwell, ML1 1BN. The informal Q&A session with the Presiding Officer is open to all from 5:30pm.
Launched in November 2012, the Parliament Day initiative takes the Parliament out of Edinburgh and into communities across Scotland. Parliament Days allow people to see the Parliament at work – both official parliamentary business such as committee meetings, and on a less formal level by meeting local MSPs and Parliament staff.
Twelve Parliament Days have been held across Scotland from Orkney to Hawick, and from Stornoway to Arbroath.