Christmas has always been a time of year that I enjoy but also often feel conflicted about. For my family and I it’s about time together to take stock, celebrate in each other’s company and give thanks for our health and happiness.
However, I’m incredibly conscious many people in West Lothian, and across Scotland, won’t have such a special time this Christmas. Many will be apart from or missing loved ones or going without, and it’s them I always think of at this time of year.
My team and I are supporting many local families who are enduring exceptionally difficult times and we’ve worked on some very distressing cases this year; including deaths abroad, immigration issues keeping families apart and a number of domestic abuse cases. Universal Credit has had an increasingly devastating effect on many of my constituents. The increase in the number of families relying on food and clothing banks is a grave concern.
It’s so important at this time of year to think of and help those who are in need.
We should also give huge thanks to our emergency services and the many workers and volunteers who care for our elderly, our sick, our vulnerable and those in need of a little extra help to get by – thank you for caring, and for the vital work you do.
Finally I’d like to wish everyone across the Livingston constituency and the wider West Lothian area a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.