Members of the Opening Doors shadow scheme met Malcolm Chisholm, Minister for Communities, for a glimpse behind the scenes at the Scottish Parliament on Friday (15 December).
Pictured in the Garden Lobby, from the left: Subash Punn, Fay Young, Asha Pall, Malcolm Chisholm, Dougie Kerr and Celina Mbwiria (Nick Gardner is behind the camera).
Both sides learned something new. For Malcolm it was a chance to join the ‘shadows’ on an official guided tour round the building for the first time – as a Minister and the MSP for Edinburgh North and Leith he usually has a different view of the debating chamber and committee rooms. For the visiting party (which included Leith Open Space Group members Nick Gardner and Fay Young as well as Asha Pall, Celina Mbwiria, Subash Punn and Councillor Dougie Kerr) it was a chance to see those parts not usually covered by guided tours – the MSP’s offices and the restaurant.
But it was fitting that Malcolm’s tour began with a sculpture he had unveilled the night before to honour the contribution of Scottish women to democracy and human rights. Travelling the Distance, created by artist Shauna McMullan, records the thoughts of women in handwritten sentences which have been sculpted in porcelain. (It is worth remembering that five out of the six Opening Doors pioneers are women.)
Our thanks to Malcolm for giving us all such an informative and enjoyable visit – and a delicious lunch!
Music, food and friendship are the main themes of our December events. But there is room for stimulating debate too in the Full Council Meeting on Thursday 21 December. Members of Opening Doors are welcome to join a group outing to hear the debate on the proposed tram route from Leith – and the case against replacing Trident.
Please contact Leith Open Space Group if you want to promote your own event. Email us at LeithOpenSpace@btconnect.com
Monday 11 December Winter Party
6.30 – 9.30 pm
Edinburgh Refugee Centre, St George’s West Church, Shandwick Place.
Everyone is welcome to join the annual party where there will be international food and music provided by African Scottish band Diwan, Brazilian group, Dias Quarter, Scottish folk singer Aaron Jones.
Thursday 14th December Polish Market
14:00 – 20:00
The market will feature a range of authentic Polish food, drink and live music. Organised in collaboration with the Scottish Polish Cultural Association.
Saturday 16 December
Friends of Dalmeny Street Park Winter Planting & Litter Pick
Meet in the Park at 9.30am.
Co-ordinator, Lise Bratton says the day starts with the litter-pick until about 11.00 and then everyone repairs to Out of the Blue’s Drill Hall for hot drinks, home-made cakes and cookies. The planting session will start at about 11.30am and is likely to finish around 1pm.
Equipment: all equipment will be provided but remember to dress for the weather!
Thursday December 21 Full Council Meeting
10 am City Chambers
This meeting could be worth finding a seat in the public gallery. Councillors debate the business case for the proposed tram route from Leith to the airport – and Council Leader, Ewan Aitken will raise the temperature further with his opposition to replacing Trident. Opening Doors members are invited to join a group visit to City Chambers.
It’s party time – if your diary is not already full then put on your dancing shoes and head for a real winter warming event at Edinburgh Refugee Centre on Monday 11 December at St George’s West from 6.30 – 9.30pm. Continue reading “Winter Party”