During Mental Health Awareness Week, Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, met with Renfrew YMCA to discuss the vital work they do in the local community and the role they play in supporting young people with mental health issues.

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is centred around stress and the fact that two thirds of individuals experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes. In addition, mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 people children and young people.

Renfrew YMCA run activities to promote a healthy lifestyle by organising awareness sessions on a range of subjects including mental health. They provide a safe environment for young people to discuss issues in an open and honest manner. They also work with young people to break down barriers in the community and build positive relationships with other community members, supporting them to reach their full potential.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“Mental Health problems affect around 1 in 10 of our children and young people and it’s clear that we all need to devote greater attention on this issue to help people who are experiencing poor mental health. It is alarming that 70% of children and young people who have experienced mental health problems have not had the appropriate early intervention. It is therefore extremely important that those affected have the correct support available as emotional wellbeing is just as important as physical health.

“Organisations such as Renfrew YMCA can play an important part in helping those young people who suffer from poor mental health. They regularly engage with young people and are in a fantastic position to positively help those young people who have mental health problems. The Renfrew YMCA already support young people through physical activity, involvement in community activities or offering a safe space. All these activities are key in helping to improve a person’s mental health”

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Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has challenged the UK Government’s Secretary of State for Brexit to confirm whether he will be the next UK Government minister to resign if the Prime Minister pursues a customs arrangement with the EU following Brexit.

Earlier this week, reports suggested that the Prime Minister was finally willing to enter into a custom arrangement with the EU following Brexit.

On Wednesday evening the Brexit sub-committee of the Cabinet met, yet again, to discuss future customs arrangements with the EU. But, as has happened previously, they could not agree a way forward.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“The SNP has been campaigning tirelessly for the UK’s continued membership of the customs union and the single market. This is vitally important to protecting jobs and household incomes in Scotland.

“It was heartening to see that the Prime Minister was starting to come round to our way of thinking on customs arrangements at least. However, it appears that following pressure from the Brexiteers in her own party – led by David Davis MP – that she has decided to put her own narrow party interests ahead of what’s in the best interests of the country. It’s a shambolic situation that two years after the EU referendum we still have no idea what our future relationship with the EU will look like.

“David Davis, along with Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg, are the leading cheerleaders for Brexit and want to cut all ties to the EU.

“It’s clear from David Davis’s qualified response, only replying that his “resignation was not imminent” that he could be the next Secretary of State to resign from the UK Government. The Prime Minister’s handling of Brexit has been a complete car-crash and the UK’s international reputation lies in tatters. She owes it to the country to concern herself a little more with the damage that a hard Brexit with no customs arrangement will have on jobs and household incomes rather than on the internal squabbles in the Tory party.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has attended a Christian Aid Big Brekkie event in Parliament to show his support for Christian Aid Week which is taking place from the 13th to 19th of May.

This year Christian Aid Week is encouraging the British public to stand together with the millions of displaced people who have been forced to leave their homes around the world. This has been an issue that Mr Newlands has been campaigning, and only last week, used a speech in Parliament to reiterate calls for the UK Government to do more to help those who have been displaced.

Ahead of Christian Aid Week, Gavin Newlands MP attended the event in Parliament to find out about activities and events taking place during the charity’s annual fundraising week in Paisley and Renfrewshire North. Last year, £16,855 was raised in Paisley and Renfrewshire North during Christian Aid Week.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“It was great to meet with the team from Christian Aid to find out about the activities that they have planned for this year’s Christian Aid Week. People from Paisley and Renfrewshire always come out in force to support Christian Aid Week and it was great to hear that last year local people helped to raise over £16,000 to support the activities of the charity.

“We’re currently living through the biggest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War and for millions of people across the globe, Christian Aid’s work provides vital support. I encourage local constituents to continue to support their support for Christian Aid Week.”

Simon Kirkland, Christian Aid’s UK Parliamentary and Political Adviser, said:

“We are very grateful for Gavin Newlands’s support for Christian Aid’s important fundraising events in Paisley and Renfrewshire North. Everyone can do something to help this Christian Aid Week, whether it’s attending a local event, giving money or praying for the world’s many displaced people at this difficult time. Thank you to everyone who is able to take part in this year’s Christian Aid Week.”

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, is backing a local charity as they seek to win a public vote and help secure funds from the National Lottery’s Big Lottery fund.

Bravehound are based at Erskine Hospital and provide a range of support to former servicemen, women and their families, this includes providing companion dogs to veterans as a means of helping to support their transition into civilian life.

The charity is now competing for The People’s Project public vote and if successful, will receive £50,000 of National Lottery money to create a permanent exhibition on the role of military dogs from their base at Erskine House.

Five local community groups across STV West are set to compete for up to £50,000 of National Lottery funding each. The People’s Project is giving these groups a chance to go head to head to compete in a public vote to help them make an extraordinary difference to their community. People can vote once per region and will need an email address to vote. To vote please visitwww.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“People in Renfrewshire are extremely proud of its veterans and of the area’s heritage in supporting  serving and ex-Service personnel. Bravehound is a fantastic local charity doing great work to support ex-servicemen and women.

“Bravehound support’s former servicemen, women and their families by providing companion dogs to help them make the transition into civilian life, some of these will be suffering from post-traumatic stress, mental health issues and physical injury.

“It’s great to see their fantastic work being recognised and that they’re now in with a chance of securing funds to allow them to set-up an exhibition, in Erskine House, on the role of military dogs from their base at Erskine House. This is a fantastic and I would encourage everyone in Renfrewshire to vote for Bravehound.”

Fiona MacDonald from Bravehound said:

“We’re so grateful to Gavin Newlands for making the time to visit us. The People’s Project Award will help us to provide more support for veterans with their amazing BRAVEHOUND companions, and to organise events for the whole community to join, as well as to create an exhibition of the role of military dogs from the Western Front through to Helmand Province, and we would be incredibly grateful for your vote.”

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has used part of his Easter recess to meet with the staff at RAMH (Recovery Across Mental Health), in Paisley.


Mr Newlands recently met with Stephen McLellan from RAMH to find out more about their latest work to support people with a mental illness, and also to congratulate them on recently being named as ‘Employer of the Year’ at the Provost’s Community Awards.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“In preparation for Mental Health Awareness Week taking place between the 14th and 20th May, I have met with a number of Renfrewshire-based groups who help support people who are suffering from poor mental health.

“1 in 4 people in Scotland will experience a mental health problem this year and it’s clear that we need to do more to support people who suffer from mental ill health.

“I enjoyed catching-up with RAMH to find out more about their latest work. RAMH are well known in Renfrewshire and for the past 40 years have helped people to recover from their mental ill health.

“RAMH are well equipped to help local people and their efforts over the years have meant that they now support increasing numbers of people in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire. I was delighted to meet up with Stephen to formally congratulate RAMH on being named as the ‘Employer of the Year’ at the recent Provost Awards. This is testament to the hard work and fantastic service that RAMH provides to people who are experiencing poor mental health.”

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has urged constituents to buy Fair Trade Easter eggs this year and show their support for farmers in developing countries.

Last week, Mr Newlands met with the staff of Rainbow Turtle to find out how they were preparing for Easter.

The Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire North bought his Easter gifts at Rainbow Turtle, and in doing so, encouraged local constituents to consider buying Fair Trade products this Easter.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“Many in Renfrewshire will be well aware of the fantastic work that Rainbow Turtle do to support Fair Trade. They’ve been in the town for over 15 years and their work has been crucial in Renfrewshire being awarded Fair Trade status in 2009.

“Easter is just around the corner, so it was good to meet with the staff to find out how they’re preparing for the busy time ahead. I was also able to pick up my Fair Trade Easter eggs and would encourage others to do so as well.

“Fairtrade chocolate makes a real difference to the lives, and futures, of over 179,800 farmers in the developing nations. It’s a simple and easy way in which we can help those less fortunate than ourselves.”

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, is urging local people to come out in force to support Paisley Comic Con which is being held in the Paisley Town Hall on the 14th of April.

Last week, the Member of Paisley and Renfrewshire North, met with the organisers of the Paisley Comic Con – Alasdair Watson and Thom Wall – to find out what they have planned for this year’s event.

This is the second annual Paisley Comic Con and follows last year high successful event which saw over 2,000 people visit the town hall to meet with their favourite comic book stars.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“It was good to meet with Alasdair and Thom to find out more about their plans for this year’s Paisley Comic Con.

“Over 2,000 people attended last year’s event and I know from meeting with the organisers that they have bigger and better plans to ensure that more people attend their follow-up event in the Paisley town hall.

“Paisley Comic Con is a great family day out and it’s good to see that they have a number of events on for small children. If you’re looking for something to do on Saturday 14th of April, I would recommend popping into the town hall for Paisley Comic Con.”

Paisley Comic Con, said:

“Our focus this year is really on making the event bigger, better, and more fun, as well as creating opportunities for people of all ages to get creative and tell their own stories. We’ve also expanded on the Festival of events around town, with fun activities throughout the Easter Holidays for young kids and grown-up kids alike!”

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, and Cold Feet actress Fay Ripley have joined forces this March to help Marie Curie provide care and support to more people living with a terminal illness.

The Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire North and long-term Marie Curie supporter Fay were pictured together with Marie Curie Nurses, Victoria Shodeko and Victoria Oluwalogbon, at a parliamentary event to celebrate the launch of the Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie’s biggest annual fundraising campaign.

From March 1st, Marie Curie’s daffodil pins will be available from volunteers and shops on high streets across Renfrewshire  With demand for Marie Curie services growing, as more people die each year, the charity hopes that this March, more people than ever will give a donation and wear the iconic yellow flower.

The money raised will help the charity be there for more people living with any terminal illness, providing them and their loved ones with vital care and support at the most difficult time of their lives.

Gavin pledged his support to the appeal and is encouraging local people to help the charity raise more money than ever before by simply giving a donation and wearing a Marie Curie daffodil pin.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“I am happy to be once again supporting Marie Curie’s annual Great Daffodil Appeal. This annual campaign is a simple way in which you can show your support to those with a terminal illness and in the process helping to raise some funds as well for this fantastic cause.

“This campaign has been running since 1986 and through the generous support of thousands of ordinary folk up and down the country, the campaign has been able to support those with a terminal illness.

“The Great Daffodil Appeal will be running throughout March and I would encourage everyone to support this fantastic cause.”

Fay Ripley, who is best known for her role in the ITV series Cold Feet and also as a recipe author, said:

‘I’m delighted to be here with Gavin Newlands MP to help launch Marie Curie’s annual Great Daffodil Appeal.

“Chances are, we all know someone who’s been affected by a terminal illness, so it’s absolutely crucial that families have the care and support they need at such a difficult time. I hope that as many people as possible wear a daffodil this March and understand that in doing so, they are making a huge difference for people living with a terminal illness and their loved ones.”

Scott Sinclair, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Marie Curie, said:

‘Having the support of Gavin and Fay makes a huge difference to our Great Daffodil Appeal.

“We ask people to wear a daffodil on their lapel throughout the month to show not only their support for the work of our Marie Curie Nurses, but also to help us highlight the many issues that people affected by terminal illness confront. We believe that everyone should have the best quality of care and the best quality of life possible when they are dying.”

Marie Curie Rapid Response Nurse Victoria Shodeko said:

‘Wearing a daffodil is a really easy way to show your support for the thousands of families affected by terminal illness. Everyone deserves to be cared for at the end of their life.

“Every penny raised, every daffodil worn, helps fund our vital care and support.  It means I can be there for someone who is dying.  We urgently need as many people as possible to give a donation this year and wear their daffodil with pride.

‘Marie Curie services rely on charitable donations, so I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who gives a donation and wears a daffodil pin during March.’

Marie Curie is there for everyone affected by a terminal illness, including those with cancer, dementia, heart or lung disease, and neurological conditions like motor neurone disease. It provides a range of services focussing on where gaps exist in high quality care and where it can reach more people. It also provides practical information and support, funds vital research and campaigns for more people to have access to high quality, personalised care wherever and whenever they need it.

To find out more about the Great Daffodil Appeal, visitwww.mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil or call free on 0800 304 7025.  You can also text DAFF to 70099 to donate £5.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has continued his campaign to ensure that individuals living with Huntington’s disease, or are at risk from Huntington’s, can access affordable and fair insurance.

Earlier this year, following representations from the Renfrewshire-based Scottish Huntington’s Association, Mr Newlands led a debate in parliament on the challenges that people with Huntington’s disease have with accessing insurance and called for action to be taken to ensure that the insurance companies cannot price out those individuals from acquiring insurance.

Gavin has followed this up with a meeting with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP, where he was joined by the John Eden, Chief Executive of the Scottish Huntington’s Association and also representatives from the Huntington’s Disease Association and Genetic Alliance UK. They repeated the calls to the UK Government to intervene to help ensure that those with Huntington’s disease can access affordable insurance.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“I am determined to continue the campaign so that individuals either living with Huntington’s, or the risk of being a carrier, can access affordable insurance to allow them to live their lives without added financial stress and complication to be able go on holiday, buy a house or secure life insurance.

“It’s clear that the insurance companies still don’t fully understand this condition and this means that too many people who suffer from Huntington’s, when not refused insurance, are even priced out from acquiring basic insurance to go on a family holiday.

“This was productive meeting and I am grateful for John, Cathy and Ruth for joining me at this meeting to explain what has to be done to ensure that individuals with Huntington’s disease can access fair and affordable insurance, and to the minister for vowing to work with us to try and make the current regulations fit for purpose.”

John Eden, Chief Executive of the Scottish Huntington’s Association, said:

“People with Huntington’s Disease and their families live at the sharp end of the day-to-day challenges of a severe, progressive condition. They face battles getting others to understand their needs, access services, and cope with the many symptoms the condition causes. Accessing life insurance is yet another battle and many, if not most families stand little chance of winning. Insurance companies simply don’t understand this condition and frankly seem indifferent to the impact their resultant decision making process have on already difficult circumstances. It really is time that changed and they must engage with the HD community and find workable solutions. People with HD don’t expect special treatment, they just want to be treated fairly.”