Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP, Gavin Newlands, is backing a life-saving appeal from Cancer Research UK for more NHS cancer staff.

He attended a special event in Westminster last week (Wednesday 6 June) to launch the charity’s new campaign – ‘Shoulder to Shoulder Against Cancer’.

It encourages everyone to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS by calling on the UK Government to tackle the chronic shortage of staff who diagnose and treat the disease.

For 70 years the NHS has been at the forefront of fighting cancer, but with a growing and ageing population cancer services are struggling to cope with the increased number of diagnoses.

This means more staff are urgently needed to keep up with the demand for life-saving tests and treatments, yet already 1 in 10 NHS diagnostic posts are unfilled.

In the UK, cancer survival rates are still lagging behind the best in Europe and in Scotland many cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when they are harder to treat successfully.

To help save more lives, Cancer Research UK is now urging the UK Government to commit to training and employing more NHS staff to diagnose and treat cancer earlier.

Gavin Newlands MP said: “More people are surviving cancer than ever before, thanks to the fantastic work of the NHS staff who turn breakthroughs in research into vital tests and treatments.

“But as the health service reaches its 70th birthday, it’s facing unprecedented challenges.

“Every year, 6800 people are diagnosed with cancer in Paisley and Renfrewshire North. With this number set to rise, it’s vital that we have an NHS which is fit to deliver world-class care for all cancer patients now and in the future.

“That’s why I’m backing Cancer Research UK’s call to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS against cancer, so that everyone has the best possible chance of surviving this devastating disease.”

To speed up and improve cancer diagnosis and treatment investment is needed in key professions, including radiographers and radiologists who carry out and interpret scans such as MRIs, endoscopists who look inside the body by inserting a tiny camera and pathologists who look for abnormal cells, as well as oncologists (cancer specialists), nurses and surgeons.

Shaun Walsh, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Cancer Research UK, said: “We’re grateful to Gavin Newlands MP for his support. It’s up to all of us to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NHS against the disease.

“Without increased investment in NHS staff, we could see the death toll from cancer rising. But by acting right now and investing in the early diagnostic workforce, we could help prevent a crisis in the future and save many more lives.

“Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer. It’s our ambition for this to be 3 in 4 by 2034. That’s why we hope MPs, patients and the public get behind this vitally important campaign to help make our cancer services among the best in the world.”

To take action visit cruk.org/shouldertoshoulder or join the conversation on twitter #ShouldertoShoulder.

Scottish Orienteering have joined the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Scottish Sport.

The Group, which comprises Members of both Houses of Parliament and from all major parties, exists to discuss and advance issues of importance to Scottish sport by complementing the work of the Scottish government and all Scottish governing bodies.

Organisations with an interest in Scottish sport are welcome to join the Group, take part in its conversations, and challenge issues that face sport across Scotland.

Scottish Orienteering is the association for orienteering in Scotland, a constituent association of the British Orienteering Federation, and receives support from sportscotland. It becomes the second national governing body to join the Group.

All-Party Parliamentary Group for Scottish Sport Chair and Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, Gavin Newlands MP, said “I am pleased to welcome Scottish Orienteering to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Scottish Sport.

“The Group exists to support Scottish sport at all levels, and I look forward to working with Scottish Orienteering, to raise and challenge issues, and promote the good work that they and other sports across Scotland do.”

Scottish Orienteering President, Roger Scrutton, added “Scottish Orienteering are delighted to join the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Scottish Sport.

“Orienteering is an exciting and challenging sport that can be enjoyed by all, and we hope that by raising public awareness of sporting options, through greater media coverage for minority sports, we can increase participation and deliver improved health and social benefits to the Scottish population.”

SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, Gavin Newlands, has pledged his backing for Carers Week which begins next Monday, by committing to support local carers across Renfrewshire.

Gavin Newlands MP has signed up to the Carers Week pledge to take carer friendly action – highlighting the tireless work of the 6.5 million unpaid carers across the UK and offering them any support they need. There are an estimated 788,000 unpaid carers across Scotland – with 44,000 of them under the age of 18.

The Scottish Government has taken decisive action to support unpaid carers – investing over £135 million in a range of programmes and initiatives to support carers and young carers, as well as passing a new Carers Act, which has come into force this year, which extends the rights of carers and ensures better support.

Mr Newlands also hosts a Carers’ surgery in Renfrewshire Carers Centre on the last Friday of every month.

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

“I am always delighted to have the opportunity to support the wonderful work that carers do in our communities in Renfrewshire and across society.

“Across Scotland, there’s an estimated 788,000 unpaid carers, with tens of thousands of them being under the age of 18. It is our duty to support them in whatever way we can.

“The Scottish Government has been leading the way in providing this support for unpaid carers – investing over £135 million, as well as passing the new Carers Act in 2016, which came into force this year.

“And through the new Social Security Agency, the Scottish Government plans to increase Carers Allowance to the level of Job Seeker’s Allowance, giving carers that little bit extra support that can go a long way.

“Carers Week gives us all the chance to show our support and appreciation for the work carers do in our local communities – and I am committed to playing a positive role in this inspiring annual event.”

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.”