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ARTICLE: The Best of our Communities

Often in the worst of times, we see the best of people. That’s especially true in our communities, where, every day, we see people doing incredible work. In fact, they are so busy helping others it is sometimes too easy to forget just how special they are.

I have had the opportunity to celebrate some of these heroes in Parliament – and where it has been safe to do so, meet with them, and thank them, in person.  But there are many more, the unsung majority – you will know a few of them yourselves. You may even be one of them but don’t even think about it.

To them all, I say thank you.

There is, perhaps, no better example of the best of our communities than the MFR Cash for Kids Christmas Appeal.

People across the Highlands came together to ensure every local child had a gift to open on Christmas day.

The incredible Cash for Kids team worked flat out to deliver all the gifts across the Highlands – and we owe them a debt of gratitude.

They were supported by local fundraisers, businesses, volunteers, and all of you, who took the time to buy a gift that is sure to have put a smile on a child’s face on Christmas day, not to mention offer some slight relief to struggling parents.

It is heart-warming to imagine the weight lifted off families and the smile on the face of their child – even if it was just for one day.

Especially when more families than ever before are facing a tough time.

Along with amazing local charities, foodbanks and community volunteers, my team and I are doing all we can to help as well as continuing to urge the UK Government to change course.

But the reality is, the UK Government know the impact of the choices they are making, these are deliberate actions.

With its limited powers over Social Security the Scottish Government is showing different choices can be made by putting dignity and respect at the heart of policy.

What better place to start building a Social Security system ensuring every child has a fair start in life?

As we look ahead to 2022, I hope this is a statement of intent on which we can all agree.

To you and your family, from me, my family, and my team, I wish you a Happy New Year.

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