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George with his wife Stacey

#DisabledAccessDay

Disabled Access Day is back for its second year, and is even bigger and better that last year’s great success. Disabled Access Day, supported by Euan’s Guide, the a listing and review site that helps disabled people and their families know which venues are truly accessible, came about after Paul Ralph, a powerchair user and Euan’s Guide supporter, went to a ‘try it out day’ at his local bus company. Through his experience, being shown how accessible buses could be for people with a disability, he is now a frequent bus user. This prompted the idea for Disabled Access Day.

George with his wife StaceySupporting Disabled Access Day, Paisley MSP and SDEF (Scottish Disability Equality Forum) Patron George Adam said, “Disabled Access Day is a fantastic chance for people with a disability to get out and try something new. Often, people with a disability fell that they are unable to uses public transport or access buildings, shops and restaurants due to the lack of disabled access. As many of you may know my wife Stacey is a wheelchair user and gaining access even to a local shop can be difficult. However, as Paul has shown, if you engage with, in his case the local bus company, you might be pleasantly surprised.

‘The day is also about raising awareness amongst the general public and businesses that we need to do more to support disabled access. Far too often people with disabilities face far too many obstacles when getting about and this needs to change. Disabled Access Day is also a great opportunity to share your experiences on Euan’s Guide, www.euansguide.com.

‘The Scottish Parliament is also getting involved today by launching its new accessible toilet sign on Disabled Access Day, designed by 10-year-old Grace Warnock, a student at Prestonpans in East Lothian. If you are only able to do one thing tomorrow, tweet #DisabledAccessDay and show your support.”

George Backs Small Business Saturday

George Adam MSP has today called on people in Paisley to back Small Business Saturday this weekend (5th December) and support local businesses.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is asking everyone to do their bit in backing Small Business Saturday by choosing, where possible, to use local independent businesses to buy their Christmas gifts.George in Paisley Town Centre

Commenting, George said:

“This year, as in previous years, there has been much hype around so-called Black Friday sales and big discounts from online retailers, often to the detriment of local shops. That’s why next weekend I’ll be showing my support for local shops, as I do throughout the year across Paisley.

“While I appreciate that household budgets are stretched more than ever at this time of year – we should do everything we can to shop local businesses which are often at the heart of our communities. My wife and I try every year only to buy each other Christmas gifts from shop in Paisley. You might initially think this would be challenging, but if you give Paisley a chance, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. And let’s remember, the more we shop in our town centre, the more likely it is that more business will open up, further increasing the options we all have.

“The SNP government doing everything it can to revitalise our town centres and support small businesses. That’s why the Scottish Government has reduced or removed business rates for almost 100,000 businesses in Scotland through the Small Business Bonus Scheme. This has helped the many shops in Piazza, which defies the trend of empty outlets in other towns and has full occupancy. Also, around my office on Johnston Street, we now have full occupancy, with a number of hairdressers, a fantastic flower shop, cloth shops and a number of food outlets.

“I hope shoppers throughout Paisley can find time to support our local, independent businesses when carrying out their Christmas shopping this year. I am sure local spending will be very much appreciated by local retailers and their staff.”

Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-political, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities. The FSB supports Small Business Saturday. More details can be found on their Facebook page and on their website

George Celebrates MS Week

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Within Scotland there remains a ‘postcode lottery’ for people with MS in accessing treatments, health and social care services and employment support to name but a few. There are also many areas where Scotland lags behind the rest of the UK.

On Wednesday 1st May the MS Society, with support from George Adam MSP, showcased the results from their report, “A lottery of treatment and care” during their Garden Lobby reception. Michael Matheson MSP, Minister for Public Health, also spoke at the event.

George Adam MSP said, ‘It was a privilege to hold a members debate at parliament during MS Week and to host a reception for the MS Society to showcase their report to MSPs. Many people will already know that my wife Stacey has the condition so I have an in depth knowledge of how MS can affect families.

There is so much to find out about MS; What are the causes?  How do you control it?  How do we cure it?  I would like to thank the Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson, for detailing the Scottish Government’s plans to tackle MS head on and for attending all the MS events this week.’

Christine Carlin, Director for Scotland said, “There are over 10 500 people living with MS in Scotland and it is essential that these people can access the right treatments, services and support in order to manage their condition. We have been delighted by the support we have received from MSP’s throughout the week and at our reception. On behalf of the Society I would like to thank George Adam MSP and Michael Matheson MSP for their commitment and support. By working together we can stop the MS Lottery.”

Cat Johnson, who spoke at the event, was diagnosed with MS when she was 21 years old, “living with a fluctuating condition like MS means that you never really know how you’re going to feel from day to day. It is absolutely essential that we can access the right treatments, services and support when we need them. When all this is in place, people with MS can live independent lives. Without it, you’re struggling with the symptoms of your condition and the physical and social barriers that stop you from living your life to the full. I jumped at the chance to speak at the MS Society’s MS week reception, and was overwhelmed to see so many MSPs there showing their support. Working together we can make a difference people like me who live with MS “

Blue Badge Consultation Launched – Have Your Say!

George with wife Stacey, Dennis Robetson MSP with his trusty sidekick Mr Q  A consultation has been launched to ask for your views on strengthening the current law relating to the Blue Badge Scheme in Scotland. George recently met up with Dennis Robertson MSP who has launched the member’s bill on Blue Badges to discuss his views on the matter. Dennis, who is blind and is accompanied everywhere by his trust guide dog, Mr Q, believes that the current laws around Blue Badge use are not strong enough and wants changes to be made.

Speaking on the launch of the consultation, George said, “Many of you will know that my wife Stacey suffers from MS. This entitles her to a Blue Badge, however often it is difficult to find a space close to our destination, meaning we have to park a good distance away from shops and other places. This bill aims to give authorities more powers to enforce the use of Blue Badges and makes it easier if you have a disability to find a parking space closer to your work, place of education or when on a leisure outing.

“The purpose of the consultation is to hear the views of those you have a Blue Badge as their views on this issue will be key to getting the new law right. Hence I would urge anyone interested in taking part in the consultation. This can be found at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_MembersBills/Consultation_Disabled_Persons_Parking_Badges.pdf .

George’s wife Stacey, who has a Blue Badge commented, “It is always so frustrating when I can’t get a space close to where I’m going. In city and town centres, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get a space close to my destination. I often venture out with my mum during the day and the further away we are from the shops, the further she has to push me in my chair. I am lucky that I have family who can help me but I know others with a disability how venture out by themselves and struggle to get to and from their car as they often have to park a fair distance away when getting from A to B.

‘I was glad to meet Dennis, and MR Q, to take about the issues we both face and I hope that this new bill will have a big impact on those of us with a disability.”

Further background information on the use and blue of the Blue Badge Scheme can be found at:
http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/strategy-and-research/publications-and-consultations/j247081-00.htm

National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Week

Stacey and her father during MS WeekGeorge recently secured his second members debate, on a subject very close to his heart, Multiple Sclerosis (MS). As many of you will know, George’s wife Stacy suffers from MS, first being diagnosed when she was 16. Stacey has the secondary/ progressive form of the disease and often finds it difficult to undertake small everyday tasks, however on occasion, she can get up and dance with George on a night out. Scotland has the most cases of MS in the world per capita, and while great steps are being taken every day to understand this disease, much has still to be done. That is why debates like that which George secured in the parliament, during National MS week, helps to make people more aware of this disease. George would like to thank all the members who took part in the debate, everyone who supported National MS Week, and also his wife Stacey who made the trip through to Edinburgh for the debate, while this was a long and tiring day for Stacey, she too appreciated all the support people have offered her and everyone else who suffers from this disease.

You can view the dabate by clicking here.

 

Paisley’s MSP Urges Constituents to Beat the Flu!

George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, today received his flu vaccination from his local doctor’s surgery.

Mr Adam said, “My wife Stacey suffers from multiple sclerosis and would be very at risk from catching the flu from me if I was to come down with it. There are lots of other people in the same situation as myself who have family members that could become very ill if they were to catch the flu.

’There are certain groups who are most at risk from developing the flu, and they include, over 65’s, pregnant women, and people with long term or severe medical conditions. If you are in one of these risk groups, please contact your doctor now as you are entitled to a vaccination.

’The NHS website is a very good point of reference for all the information you could need on the subject. Please follow my lead and stay in the best of health for the festive period just around the corner”.

NHS Flu Vaccination information