7,845 CHILDREN ELIGIBLE FOR FREE SCHOOL MEALS IN FALKIRK DISTRICT

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With pupils across the country preparing to go back to school, 7,845 in Falkirk district will be eligible for free school meals this year.

Throughout Scotland, over 250,000 pupils will be eligible for free school lunches – a figure that has doubled in the last three years.

Thanks to an SNP Government initiative in 2015, all primary 1-3 pupils are eligible for free school meals, which is of huge financial help to families.

Commenting, SNP MSP Angus MacDonald for Falkirk East said:

“It’s fantastic that 7,845 of school pupils across Falkirk district are eligible for free school meals – an integral part of ensuring that every child gets the best start in life and as much as possible out of their time in the classroom each day.

“Guaranteeing our youngest pupils a healthy meal during the school day helps them to learn and can save families an estimated £380 a year. 

“This is just one of the steps the SNP Scottish Government is taking to tackle child poverty and help household incomes – and is an essential part of our central ambition to drive up standards in Scottish schools.

“I wish teachers and pupils alike the best of luck as they start the new academic year.”

MACDONALD & MATHESON WELCOME SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT BACKING FOR CYCLING WITHOUT AGE

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The Scottish Government have, on Tuesday (8th August 2017), announced they are to provide official backing to the Cycling Without Age initiative, brought to Scotland by 20-year-old Fraser Johnston.

Both MSPs for Falkirk East and Falkirk West, Angus MacDonald and Michael Matheson, have welcomed the news, which will see Cycling Without Age given the support it needs to expand beyond the pilot project in Falkirk, to as many communities across Scotland as possible.

The Cycling Without Age movement began in Denmark, and encourages volunteers to take older people for bike rides on comfortable and safe trishaws. The project in Falkirk, along with the project lead Fraser Johnston, from Larbert, have become a viral hit across the world since BBC Three’s Amazing Humans featured them in one of their recent social media videos.

Angus MacDonald MSP, Falkirk East, commented:

“It has been great to see Cycling Without Age go from strength to strength over these past few months, and it is down to the hard work and dedication of Fraser and his project partner Christine Bell, that this latest success has come.

“The Scottish Government clearly recognise the importance of this project to the wellbeing of our older people, and the real, positive impact it has the potential to deliver within our communities, and I am absolutely delighted to see that they are willing to give support to Cycling Without Age to ensure that this project is expanded to other communities across Scotland.

“I have also been delighted to highlight this project in the Scottish Parliament, and I am thoroughly looking forward to hosting another event in September to further raise the profile of Cycling Without Age with my fellow MSPs.”

Falkirk West MSP, Michael Matheson, added:

“I’ve been following the growth of Cycling Without Age with great interest since Angus and I had the privilege to help launch the project at Carrondale Care Home in March – and its rapid expansion is all thanks to Fraser and Christine’s boundless enthusiasm, which is truly inspirational.

 

“The difference this project has made to the lives of nursing home residents in Falkirk is obvious to anyone who has seen the trishaws in action – as well as to the millions who watched the BBC Three video – so it’s fantastic news that this initiative is being rolled out nationwide thanks to financial backing from the Scottish Government.”

ANGUS MACDONALD MSP SIGNS UP TO THE BACKPACK PROJECT WITH MARY’S MEALS

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SNP MSP for Falkirk East, Angus MacDonald, has signed up to The Backpack Project, and has announced that his office in Grangemouth will be a drop off point for the project.

Mary’s Meals are a charity based in Argyll with projects across the globe, helping some of the world’s poorest children by providing them with meals every day they attend school. The Backpack Project aims to give these children the basic equipment they require to attend school, such as pens and notepads, as well as toothpaste, soap and school uniforms.

Recognising the importance of the project in providing life-changing support to some of the world’s poorest children, Angus MacDonald MSP decided it was only right that he should play a part in the project.

Commenting, MSP for Falkirk East, Angus MacDonald, said:

“We don’t often hear about the issues faced by children in countries such as Haiti and Lebanon when there is so much fog in the media these days. However, these issues are ever prevalent and, without addressing them, they will continue to get worse.

“Giving children from the poorest countries in the world, who are in these situations through no fault of their own, the tools they need to set them on their way to getting an education is the first step in supporting the future generations of these countries who will, undoubtedly, be in a position to learn from the mistakes of the past and build for a better future.

“That is why I have decided that my office should be a drop-off point for The Backpack Project. Filling an old school-bag, which is no longer being used, with notepads, pencils and school uniform for boys and girls to have the best chance at a good start in life is the least we can do to help, and I am pleased to be able to play my part in what is an important global initiative to help some of the world’s poorest children.”

More details can be found at https://www.marysmeals.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/the-backpack-project/what-to-pack

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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