North-east local heroes to attend opening of Scottish Parliament session

Maureen Watt MSP with David Forbes, the chairman of Aberdeen charity Future Choices.
Maureen Watt MSP with David Forbes, the chairman of Aberdeen charity Future Choices.

Local heroes have been selected to attend the opening of the Scottish Parliament’s new session.

Each of the 129 MSPs have been given the chance to take along a constituent in recognition of community service.

Maureen Watt, MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine, nominated David Forbes, volunteer chairman of Aberdeen charity Future Choices to attend tomorrow.

He has been chosen for his long-term service to volunteering and care.

He said: “It is fantastic to be declared a local hero and have the hard work of carers in the North-east recognised by Maureen Watt. It is so important to highlight the challenges many of us are facing in managing care commitments.”

Shelley Milne
Shelley Milne

Lewis Macdonald, North-east MSP, has nominated Shelley Milne.

“Shelley has helped found projects including Aberdeen Solidarity With Refugees (ASWR) and flood support group Hope Floats. She is also the interim chair of North East Scotland Credit Union.

Lewis said: “The work she has done, with the help and support of others, will have touched the lives of hundreds of people.

“ASWR did a great deal to raise awareness in the North-east about what ordinary people in Syria are facing on a day-to-day basis.”

Gillian Martin, Aberdeenshire East MSP, said: “I have chosen Anna and Jonathan Cordiner. Jonathan is the official local hero as I am only allowed one but they both run Kayleigh’s Wee Stars.

“In 2012, they lost their two-year-old daughter Kayleigh to a rare and incurable form of cancer – ATRT. Following her death, they set up the charity in her name.

“The charity has donated £337,484 to 131 families from across Scotland to help relieve financial pressures at such a terrible time and help families make wonderful memories in the last months of their child’s lives.”

Stewart Stevenson, Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP, said: “I was delighted to nominate Elizabeth McLeman. Elizabeth is the secretary for People First charity that offers advice, support and assistance to people with learning difficulties in the Fraserburgh area. The number and range of projects that People First is involved with is phenomenal.”

Mairi Evans, MSP for Angus North and Mearns, said: “My local hero is Dave Ramsay.

“He has been dedicated to both his local and wider community undertaking an incredible amount of voluntary work across the Mearns and in Angus.

“This has involved working on projects to preserve local heritage, promoting heritage music and education in schools and a truly incredible amount of fundraising for a great number of charities.”