Alison Thewliss MP and Linda Robson ‘get behind the daffodil’ for Marie Curie this March

Alison Thewliss MP meets with actress Linda Robson and shows her support for Marie Curie Cancer Care

Glasgow Central MP, Alison Thewliss and actress and presenter Linda Robson have joined forces to ‘get behind the daffodil’ this March and help Marie Curie Nurses provide care and support to people living with a terminal illness.

Alison Thewliss and Linda Robson were pictured together with Marie Curie Nurses, Leonie Christian and Elisabeth Goze, at a parliamentary event in Westminster to celebrate the launch of the Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie’s biggest annual fundraising campaign.

Ms Thewliss pledged her support to the appeal and is encouraging local people to help the charity raise more money than ever before by simply giving a donation and wearing a Marie Curie daffodil pin, available from volunteers across the country, or Superdrug and WH Smith’s shops, and Wyevale garden centres, during March.

Ms Thewliss said: “Marie Curie carry out hugely important work in supporting people who are suffering from terminal illnesses. They are a fantastic organisation and I will be wearing my daffodil with pride this March”.

Linda, who plays Tracey in the hit television show Birds of a Feather, and co-presents ITV’s Loose Women, is a long-time supporter of Marie Curie, having experienced first-hand the vital work of the charity. She said: “Our mum Rita was cared for by Marie Curie and we could never have coped without their constant support and care in her final months. Our family still cannot put into words just how grateful we are.”

“I’m delighted to be here with Alison Thewliss to help launch the 30th anniversary of the Great Daffodil Appeal – and to thank personally Leonie and Elisabeth for their incredible care and support when we needed them the most.”

Scott Sinclair, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Marie Curie, said:

“Having the support of Alison and Linda makes a huge difference to Marie Curie in terms of raising awareness about what we do and helping us to reach more people who need us.

“We know that seven out of 10 carers say people with a terminal illness don’t get all the care and support they need. We don’t think that’s good enough. That’s why we are asking MPs to commit to ensuring that everyone has the right to palliative care when they need it and help support our annual fundraising appeal.”

“Our services rely on charitable donations, so I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who gives a donation and wears a daffodil pin during March.”

The money raised from the Great Daffodil Appeal will help Marie Curie Nurses provide care and support to people living with a terminal illness and their loved ones at home and in one of the charity’s nine hospices.”

To coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie has also published a new report which shows that people living with blood or brain cancer – which together account for around 10% of all cancer deaths annually – are more likely to miss out on care and support focussed on providing relief from symptoms, pain and emotional stress. The report, backed by Bloodwise and the Brain Tumour Charity, argues that all people with cancer should have their palliative care needs assessed when they are first diagnosed.

For more information about the Great Daffodil Appeal and to volunteer to collect for Marie Curie, please call 0845 601 3107* or visit To donate £5 text *DAFF to 70111 or call 0800 716 146 and donate over the phone.

Alison Thewliss MP backs Air Quality Bill to reduce diesel deaths

Alison Thewliss MP and Geraint Davies MP present the Air Quality Bill to reduce deaths from diesel emissions

Alison Thewliss MP is supporting the Air Quality Bill, published yesterday with the support of the British Lung Foundation, Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. The Bill, presented by Geraint Davies MP, follows a report from the Royal Colleges that diesel fumes cause 40,000 premature deaths every year from lung cancer, strokes and heart disease. Diesel fumes also lead to underdevelopment in children and impact on foetuses, among other health effects.

The Air Quality Bill makes provisions for emissions testing to reflect on-road driving conditions, and assessment at the point of MOTs. The Bill also empowers local authorities to designate low emissions zones and pedestrianisation, and promotes cleaner public transport alternatives such as tram systems and LPG-powered vehicles.

The Environment Agency would be able to step in when a pollution cloud has hit an area, so that windows, doors and even roads can be closed, and if necessary local people evacuated until it is safe to return.

Alison Thewliss MP said, “Diesel pollution causes 40,000 deaths a year, and costs £20bn according to the Royal College of Physicians. That is why I am supporting the Air Quality Bill, published today, which aims to save thousands of lives and billions of pounds. This is achieved through effective emissions testing, following the Volkswagen emissions scandal and promoting greener transport systems and vehicles.

“Local residents in Glasgow are rightly concerned about their children coughing and wheezing, especially if children are already asthmatic. We now know that these health effects, and indeed thousands of deaths, are caused by toxic diesel fumes, which is why I am keen to support this important Bill.”

Geraint Davies MP, who published the Bill, said “Our cities are pumping out diesel clouds which threaten the lives of families, in particular young children and unborn babies. The Bill will ensure reliable vehicle emissions testing, new powers for councils to clean up local air, and a focus in the Budget on sustainable transport. This will help save thousands of lives and billions of pounds lost to diesel pollution.”

Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “Air pollution causes tens of thousands of early deaths every year, increases the risk of lung cancer and impairs child lung development. Geraint Davies’ Bill further highlights these unacceptable dangers to the nation’s lung health. Immediate action must be taken by the government.”

Alison Thewliss MP attends launch of APPG on Fairtrade

Alison Thewliss MP joins MPs from across the political parties to support Fairtrade Fortnight

On 1st March Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, attended the launch of the first All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Fairtrade at a special breakfast event in Parliament for MPs to mark Fairtrade Fortnight (29 February-13 March). The event also heard from the International Development Minister Desmond Swayne, Co-Chairs of the APPG Holly Lynch MP and Jason McCartney MP, and two Fairtrade farmers, Julio Mercado Cantillo, a Colombian banana farmer and Patrick Kaberia Muthaura, a tea farmer from Kenya who have travelled to the UK for the campaign.

Ms Thewliss also met campaigners and secondary school students from West Yorkshire, who are supporting this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight campaign which is highlighting the hunger faced by millions of farmers in developing countries who, despite working hard to grow some of the UK’s favourite foods, do not earn enough to know where their next meal is coming from.

The event was also supported by UK retailer the Co-operative which provided breakfast refreshments and is doubling donations during Fairtrade Fortnight as part of its online project which shares the experiences of farmers with the UK public.

Commenting on the launch of the APPG, Ms Thewliss said:

“I’m delighted to be supporting the Fairtrade movement. I am pleased that many events will be taking place across my constituency in support of Fairtrade Fortnight and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their efforts in supporting positive change for the world’s farmers, who supply us with essential products every day.”

Michael Gidney, CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation, said:

“Communities have always driven the Fairtrade movement, by using the pound in their pockets to make a positive change and by campaigning for better, fairer and more sustainable trade regimes enabling people to lift themselves out of poverty.

“This Fairtrade Fortnight, as thousands of communities stand in solidarity with the farmers who grow our breakfast products, I’m delighted that the people of Holme Valley have shown that action can lead to change. Establishing this APPG is a huge achievement and provides an opportunity for the public, parliamentarians and businesses to work together and make a difference to the lives of farmers around the world.”

MP Alison Thewliss visits Rags to Riches Project

Alison Thewliss MP meets with Rags to Riches

Glasgow Central MP, Alison Thewliss, recently visited the Rags to Riches project in Govanhill, which provides sewing classes for Glasgow’s asylum seekers and refugees.

Ms Thewliss is calling for the city’s refugees and asylum seekers to make use the sewing group which meets every Monday at 9.45am at Govanhill Baths.

Speaking after she visited the Rags to Riches project, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“I am really grateful to Gabi and Nadine for taking the time to show me around the workshop and to tell me about the inspiring work they are doing to integrate our newly adopted Glaswegians into the community. The phrase “People Make Glasgow” is perhaps best defined by groups like Rags to Riches.

“This sewing group is a great opportunity for people from all different countries and backgrounds to meet-up, make new friends, learn English, as well as new skills which – in some cases – have allowed people to go on and start up their own business.

“I know the group are currently looking for more asylum seekers and refugees to come along and join the free classes, which I would highly recommend. They are also looking for donations of old clothes, curtains and duvets, which I’m sure will be gratefully received”.

Alison Thewliss MP has great chemistry with scientists in Parliament

Alison Thewliss powder flame for webGlasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss showed a passion for chemistry this week when taking part in science experiments to mark the 175th anniversary of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

At the parliamentary event on 24th February she heard about the importance of good science teaching in primary schools in Glasgow Central and took part in some loud and colourful chemistry experiments performed by children’s presenter Fran Scott and her team from Great Scott! science shows.

Ms Thewliss witnessed the whizzes and bangs of chemistry first-hand as Fran and her team created dry ice bubbles, colourful flaming salts and hammered MPs’ hands, which were protected with non-Newtonian goo. But behind the colourful chemicals and exciting explosions, the event was an opportunity to discuss the importance of excellent science teaching in primary schools.

Alison Thewliss MP said: “It was great to take part in chemistry experiments – it’s not every day that you get to set things on fire in the House of Commons! The Royal Society of Chemistry and Fran Scott really highlighted how exciting chemistry can be, and how important it is to a child’s education.”


Alison Thewliss MP supports the NSPCC’s “It’s Time” campaign

Alison Thewliss MP supporting the NSPCC's It's Time campaign

Alison Thewliss MP has shown her support for the NSPCC’s It’s Time campaign after hearing about the scale of abuse young people in the UK experience, and the problems many face getting the kind of help that can turn their lives around at the NSPCC’s reception in parliament on Wednesday 10th February.

Karen Bradley MP, Minister for Preventing Abuse and Exploitation, and Rt. Hon Alistair Burt MP, Minister for Community and Social Care, joined the NSPCC CEO in speaking at the launch and Alison Thewliss MP also heard first-hand from young people who have helped shape the campaign.

All too often children who have been abused have to develop chronic mental health problems, be suicidal or self-harm before therapeutic services become available to them, according to a recent survey of professionals working with these children. One of the young people who sat on the campaign advisory group, ‘A Force for Change’, said that support should be provided “at the point of need not the point of crisis”.

Alison Thewliss MP has said “I am proud to support this campaign. In Scotland we have taken significant steps to expand support for vulnerable people through the National Action Plan to Tackle Child Sexual Exploitation, including an ongoing public awareness campaign and the opening of the National Child Abuse Investigation Unit within Police Scotland. I will continue to work hard to ensure that young people whose lives have been devastated by abuse can access the necessary support in order to rebuild their lives.”

Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive, said more children than ever were coming forward to tell somebody about the abuse they have suffered. “But every child’s bravery to come forward must be met with the right support. And for many of our most vulnerable children, that support is not available.”

He welcomed the Government’s commitment to invest £1.4 billion into children’s mental health services but said: “This money can only be spent once; it is crucial that a portion is made available for abused children. We’re calling for long term investment in support services for children who’ve experienced abuse, government to produce clear guidelines on when a child should be offered therapeutic support, more research into the scale of the problem, as well as what type of support works best.

“We know that government recognises the importance of this issue. But without a clear commitment to children who have experienced abuse, we worry that they will continue to fall by the wayside….”

You can find out more about the campaign here.