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!