Colin Beattie MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh visited the Turing Trust in Loanhead to hear more about the work they are undertaking to help empower disadvantaged communities through technology.
Founded by Alan Turing’s family in 2009, his family seek to continue his legacy through the Turing Trust by refurbishing IT equipment, installing a range of educational software and providing it to students across Africa to enable IT-supported learning.
So far, the Turing Trust has installed over 12,000 computers in African classrooms, supported more than 116,000 students and offset 3,500 tonnes of carbon emission. The Turing Trust also accept donation of old computers and laptops from individuals and businesses giving the devices a new lease of life instead of going into landfill.
Commenting on his visit, Local MSP Colin Beattie said:
“I am hugely impressed with the work the staff and volunteers at the Turing Trust are undertaking in my constituency to help classrooms in Africa access these much needed resources in this new digital world.
“Now more than ever we are relying on technology to keep us connected and the Turing Trust is playing its part to ensure that classrooms across Africa can have the same opportunities to learn.
“As well as empowering disadvantaged communities through technology, the Turing Trust keeps its impact on the environment low with its zero-landfill policy.
“I would encourage anyone who would like to support the Turing Trust’s excellent work to donate any old computers or laptops information on how to do so can be found on their website.”
Founder of the Turing Trust, James Turing, commented:
“Over the last 12 months we have seen our team achieve some incredible results thanks to the vital support of myriad donors and volunteers. Together they have helped us with over 7,400 hours of hard work, ranging from packing containers on shipping days to the all-important refurbishment of computers.”
“From the goals set in 2020, in spite of continuing challenges with the pandemic, we have made considerable progress on many of these. This year we were able to install more computer labs than any year before, installing a total of 70 new computer labs in Malawi in 2021. Many plans for teacher training had to be modified, yet we nonetheless ensured that 198 teachers received training.
“Beyond these social impacts our IT reuse programme has generated significant environmental benefits throughout the year too. In 2021 we diverted 46 tonnes of PCs that would otherwise go to waste and provided equivalent carbon savings of 966 tonnes.
“I would like to pass on my immense thanks to all of our staff and volunteers who have gone above and beyond this year in their efforts to help others. I am immensely looking forward to the year to come and seeing what more we can do building a world with technology-enabled education for all.”
Photo L-R: Neil Gilchrist, Audrey Johnston, Colin Beattie MSP and Founder James Turing
SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie has slammed the Tory leadership candidates for their ‘silence’ on child poverty as a new report highlights the scale of the cost of living with Westminster.
A new report from Citizens Advice Scotland on Universal Credit underlines the struggles households across Scotland are facing - revealing that the need for food banks has grown by almost a third (31%) since September 2021.
The report calls for Westminster to immediately uprate Universal Credit and all legacy benefits, a suspension of sanctions, scrapping the benefit cap and the two-child limit, pausing the collection of all DWP and HMRC debts, and converting all Advance Payments at the beginning of UC claims into non-repayable assessment period grants.
Whilst recent research has shown that the efforts of the SNP Scottish Government is making a real difference to those struggling, through actions such as uprating devolved benefits and introducing the ‘game changing’ Scottish Child Payment, Colin Beattie MSP has said ‘progress is being undermined by decades of Westminster austerity policies and a Tory leadership contest ignoring the cost of living crisis.’
Commenting SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie said:
“It is utterly shameful to see such an increase in foodbank use in a place as wealthy as the UK. Yet, sadly, it’s not surprising that families in Midlothian and East Lothian are struggling to get by as prices continue to rise but Westminster fails to take any meaningful action to help and every single Tory leadership candidate is silent on the matter of child poverty and the cost of living crisis.
“Research shows the actions of the SNP Scottish Government are making a real difference to those in Midlothian and East Lothian struggling as it’s doing all it can with the powers at its disposal to support households through these tough times, but these efforts are constantly fighting against cruel Westminster policies.
“The Tories silence on poverty has been deafening and it’s clear that the last thing people in Midlothian and East Lothian need is a different Prime Minister - we need a different future with independence and the full welfare powers it gives Scotland to build a fairer, wealthier and happier country.”
Citizens Advice Scotland Report
MSP COLIN BEATTIE SAYS WESTMINSTER POLITICIANS CAN’T DENY THE CHOICE OF PEOPLE IN MIDLOTHIAN AND EAST LOTHIAN
SNP MSP Colin Beattie has warned Westminster politicians that they cannot deny the choice of the people of Midlothian and East Lothian by ignoring democracy, as the second in the series of papers on independence is published by the Scottish Government.
The latest paper, titled ‘Renewing Democracy through Independence’, outlines how Scotland’s voice has been ignored at key points in recent decades - from the failure to invest North Sea oil and gas revenues like other neighbouring nations did, to the crippling decade of Tory austerity and delivering a hard Brexit that Scotland overwhelmingly rejected.
In contrast, the paper also shows where the Scottish Parliament has taken decisions within the limited powers it currently has, it has delivered transformative change for the people of Midlothian and East Lothian with policies like the Scottish Child Payment, Minimum Unit Pricing and being one of the first nations in the world to provide free period products.
Midlothian North and Musselburgh MSP Colin Beattie said:
“This latest paper lays bare that when decisions are made by Westminster, it’s the people of Midlothian and East Lothian that lose out.
“Hundreds of billions in oil revenue squandered by the UK Treasury, a crippling decade of Tory austerity and the economic and social disaster that is Brexit is the legacy of Westminster control faced by families in Midlothian and East Lothian.
“Decisions about Scotland should be taken by those who live here - not by politicians we don’t vote for or unelected Lords. That’s why Scotland needs independence - and Westminster politicians cannot continue to stand in the way of the democratic right of the people of Midlothian and East Lothian to choose a better future.
“There will soon come a time when the opposition will have to engage in the substance of the independence argument. It will then be for them to explain why Westminster control would be better than the full powers of independence where Scotland takes our own decisions.”
Scottish Government paper:
WOMEN IN MIDLOTHIAN AND EAST LOTHIAN NOW OFFERED MESH REMOVAL SURGERY IN THE US
Colin Beattie MSP has welcomed the news that women in Scotland who require the surgical removal of mesh implants are to be offered surgery in the US as a potential treatment course.
Women in Scotland now have the option to request for referral to one of two independent providers for mesh removal surgery. The Scottish Government has announced a contract has been agreed between the NHS and Gynaecologic and Reconstructive Surgery Ltd in Missouri, USA, where Dr Veronikis practices. The contract allows NHS Scotland to facilitate arrangements for those who wish to travel to the USA for mesh removal surgery.
This option is in addition to the treatment options currently being offered with Spire Healthcare in Bristol and the Complex Pelvic Mesh Removal Service in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC). Each of these options will be available free of charge.
Commenting SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie, said:
“I am delighted that the Scottish Government has acted to ensure that women in Midlothian and East Lothian seeking mesh removal surgery can access the surgery they need.
“Many women have suffered an unimaginable amount of pain due to complications as a result of transvaginal mesh implants and it is absolutely right the Scottish Government is doing all it can to ensure they now get the treatment that they want and need. This contract gives women access to Dr Veronikis’ services and adds to the range of free options for treatment including the service already available in NHS Scotland and a specialist NHS centre in England.
“I encourage anyone in Midlothian and East Lothian who would like a referral to any of these services to make their wishes known to their clinical team so they can access the best possible treatment for them as quickly as possible.”