Westminster Comment - Whirlwind year for myself

In the last column of 2015, I would like to firstly wish everyone a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year. 2015 has been a whirlwind of a year for me, even the last few weeks have been action packed and really set me up for enjoying the festive season.

I recently joined volunteers from Tesco and the Aberdeenshire South Foodbank, to help collect much needed donations for the food bank over Christmas.

I am pleased to say that we were not only collecting food and hygiene essentials, but also some Christmas treats for folks to enjoy over the festive season.

The Foodbank, based in Banchory, serves all of Deeside and even stretches as far as Inverbervie.

Volunteers and staff were so enthusiastic for helping folks who are less fortunate than themselves.

The generosity of spirit as well as of wealth was extremely evident in Tescos last week.

I will be a proud supporter of schemes like this, until such times where we don’t require to have Foodbanks; by having social policies which supports and helps the disadvantaged.

I spent the day at my Alma Mater recently, Banchory Academy.

Luckily I wasn’t mistaken for a pupil too many times. It was really encouraging to see how many pupils were actively engaged with politics and who had impressive contributions to make to the debates we were having in class.

I must admit, some of those questions were much tougher than ones I receive from the Press!

I was privileged to be invited to judge the Banchory Academy Youth Philanthropy Initiative finals.

There were some fantastic presentations from some very worthy charities, but congratulations must go to Elysia & Issey!

These inspiring young women were successful in being awarded of £3000 from Youth Philanthropy Scotland to tackle homophobia in Aberdeenshire.

It is shameful in the 21st Century that in Scotland there are still people bullied or persecuted for their sexuality.

These young women should be an inspiration to us all and I feel that they could bring real change to our local area.

In Westminster I’ve been continuing with my pressure on the Government to improve matters for the digital economy, as well as holding the Government to account on their decisions in the Middle East.

Friday is our last day for three weeks in Westminster and I’m really looking forward to getting out and about in the constituency.

I hope to have a short break over Christmas and I’ll have time to watch my favourite Christmas film, The Muppet Christmas Carol, although a little cheesy, I can’t think of a better message for this time of year than.....

“It is the season of the heart, a special time for caring”.

I wish everyone all the best for the holidays and look forward to the new challenges that 2016 will bring.