EVERY week I am out in my constituency meeting people and organisations.

It is a crucial and enjoyable part of the job where I can find out the issues impacting people and it highlights so much of the inspiring work that people do every day in Midlothian North and Musselburgh.

From my meetings, I gain first-hand experience so I can take away actions and follow them up as appropriate.

Last week, I attended the Powering Futures Schools Challenge at Musselburgh Grammar School, where pupils were joined by peers from Lasswade High School to present their project work. I participated in the judging of the excellent work that was undertaken. Powering Futures is an excellent initiative that brings together young people with the industries which will employ them.

I dropped into Vocal in Dalkeith. Vocal carry out important work in my constituency supporting unpaid carers in all caring situations and relationships.

More of us are becoming carers and some of us might not even realise that we are carers and therefore miss out on support and services that we are entitled to. Being an unpaid carer can be hard work, life-changing and can also be hugely rewarding. Vocal offers the opportunity to meet other carers, identify the issues affecting carers and identify the best support available.

I was delighted to be invited to the final week of the program offered by IMPACT at Newbattle Abbey College. IMPACT is a group aimed at the grassroots level in the community and facilitated by local parents. Each week is focused on different lifestyle skills. IMPACT is a wonderful program that aims, by the end of the course, for participants to be motivated into taking action to make positive and lasting lifestyle changes.

Please do get in touch with me if you have any issue or you would like me to visit the organisation where you work.