CONSTITUENT THANKS ALISON THEWLISS FOR SUPPORT
A Glasgow Central constituent has thanked Alison Thewliss MP for supporting a recent Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim.
Michael O’Donnell contacted the office of Alison Thewliss in June to discuss an ongoing claim for PIP. Mr O’Donnell explained that he had been pursuing the PIP claim for several years but was yet to receive any answer on the matter.
The constituent asked for a Legal Entitlements and Administrative Practices (LEAP) review as he believed his mobility element may have been miscalculated due to having agoraphobia.
A letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was sent to confirm that the matter was being investigated and an update would be provided in due course.
After years of patience, Mr O’Donnell was informed by the DWP that he would be given a payment of £9191.41. This payment was calculated using the PIP payments he received and those he is now entitled to for the period 23 March 2016 until 7 June 2022.
Commenting on his delight at receiving this payment, Michael O’Donnell said:
“I can’t thank Alison and her team enough for the support they have given me in this case. The patience and dedication shown by the team is something which I am extremely grateful for.
“I have been trying for years to get this PIP payment but to get it after such a long period of waiting has been such a relief.
“The amount of money I have received is truly life-changing and will help greatly in the lead up to Christmas.
“Since getting this money, I have spoken with several friends to urge them to speak with Alison about any issue they have due to how helpful she has been in this process.
“The process was much easier than I expected, and I will be forever grateful to the team for making sure that I was given this life-changing amount of money.”
Commenting on this case, Alison Thewliss MP said:
“I am so happy that Michael was able to receive this payment. After approaching our office in June, it was clear he had been waiting a long time for this payment which he was owed.
“While my team spoke with the DWP, Michael was so patient and understood the issues we faced in this case.
“I also want to extend a thanks to the DWP, who were also very helpful in this issue and were in regular dialogue with my team about this case.
“As Michael said, this amount of money will no doubt make a huge difference to his life, and it brings me such great pride to be able to help the constituent in this way.”
Last week, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the national charity and leader in lifesaving and lifeguarding training across the UK and Ireland, brought its annual Drowning Prevention Week campaign to Westminster.
Alison Thewliss came together with the RLSS UK CEO and Charity Director, lifeguards, Olympian Professor Greg Whyte OBE, Paralympian Ellie Robinson MBE, and over 50 other Parliamentarians to discuss the importance of spreading water safety awareness, as well as what practical steps could be taken in Glasgow Central to address the issue.
At the event, Thewliss had the chance to see this guidance first-hand, including how to use throw lines, how to respect bodies of water, among other resources and also check out the cutting-edge equipment that is now being used to keep our shorelines and lakes safer than ever.
The RLSS UK also showed MPs the charity’s brand-new animation aimed at educating parents and their children about water safety and starting conversations of how their family can enjoy the water safely this summer.
Over 400 people die every year in the UK and Ireland from accidental drowning, yet every drowning is avoidable. Of those who drown, some 40% had no intention of entering the water in the first place. Yet people should still feel free to enjoy the water, as with the correct education and awareness, this can be done safely.
Drowning Prevention Week, which began on 18th June and continues until 25th June, encourages the public to be ready to enjoy being in, on, or around water this summer by ensuring that they and their families have a good understanding of water safety.
Lee Heard, Charity Director at RLSS UK said:
“With June, July, and August proving to be the months with the most fatalities, it is vitally important that everyone understands water safety, especially during the summer months.
“We want to ensure that everyone can enjoy their summer break and enjoy being in or around water but be safe in the knowledge that they, and their children, have the skills and understanding about water safety, which could potentially save a life.”
“It is fantastic to have Alison Thewliss supporting our Drowning Prevention Week campaign and highlighting the issues surrounding water safety education and helping to educate communities in Glasgow Central.”
Olympian Professor Greg Whyte OBE, said:
“I have been privileged to work with the Royal Life Saving Society UK for many years, as we strive to spread awareness around water safety and help people to enjoy water safely.
“Every MP who came along to our event, and who helps us spread the message and awareness of this important campaign is helping us reach our ultimate goal of zero water deaths, and for that I am grateful.”
Paralympian Ellie Robinson MBE, said:
“While swimming ability is of course crucial, far more worrying is the statistic that some 40% of people who drown had no intention of entering the water in the first place. Only by spreading greater awareness of water safety can we help people to enjoy water safely and reduce fatalities.”
The event came quickly after the inaugural meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Water Safety. This took place earlier this month and aims to establish more accessible water safety education across the UK to prevent future drownings.
Damien Moore MP, Chair of the APPG on Water Safety, said:
“Every drowning is a tragedy, and despite the RLSS UK’s excellent education campaign having reached an estimated 20 million people across the UK, these horrific accidents continue to happen.
“It is my sincerest hope that by hosting this event in Parliament, we have helped to further spread awareness of how best to enjoy water safely, so that ultimately lives can be saved.
“I want to thank the RLSS UK, along with every MP who came along to our event, for the vital work that they are doing in spreading awareness.”
Alison Thewliss, Shadow Chancellor for the SNP and MP for Glasgow Central, has demanded that the Government takes immediate action on collapsed betting company, Football Index.
A debate was held today, Tuesday 6th June, on the impact of the collapse of the company, which took place in March of 2021. The company had its licence stripped by the Gambling Commission and was forced to enter administration.
It has been estimated that customers collectively have over £90 million in open stakes trapped in the platform following its collapse – leaving average losses of around £3,000 per customer.
Following confirmation that a debate would be taking place on the company, Thewliss has demanded that the time is now to ensure the customers affected by the collapse are compensated for.
Alison Thewliss MP said:
“The Government have been tiptoeing around the issue of Football Index for over a year now. Constituents in Glasgow Central have contacted my office and explained the distress they felt, having invested significant money into the company. They now feel completely betrayed by the lack of support following the collapse, and frustrated by the lack of action by regulators.
“A support package must be put in place for victims of the scandal, particularly given the precedent set by the UK Government on the London Capital and Finance failure. It is entirely unfair that those who continue to have money locked away in the accounts of the now-collapsed firm are being left in the dark.
“There remains a real worry that scandals such as Football Index could be repeated unless action is taken by the Gambling Commission. The Government must acknowledge the recommendations made by Michael Sheehan QC and implement these as soon as possible.
“I am deeply disappointed that the Minister didn’t recognise that the Football Index scandal isn’t about people being compensated for gambling losses – it is a clear failure in regulation. On that basis, compensation should be due to those that have lost their life savings to a government-regulated Ponzi scheme.”
Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss demonstrated her support for improving liver health in Scotland by attending the Love Your Liver roadshow, hosted by the British Liver Trust, in Glasgow on Thursday 19th May 2022.
Ms Thewliss is an advocate for the British Liver Trust’s work and recognises the importance of improving early diagnosis of liver disease. She encouraged her constituents and the people of Glasgow to attend the roadshow and find out the steps they can take to improve their liver health.
90% of liver disease is preventable and if caught at an early stage liver damage can be reversed. However, the alarming reality is that three-quarters of people with cirrhosis are diagnosed when it is too late for effective intervention or treatment.
Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said: “I am delighted to support the Love Your Liver campaign and the charity’s work to improve early detection. Liver disease is a public health crisis and thousands of Scots are at risk. The Love Your Liver roadshow is a really important campaign, which is helping people better understand the importance of looking after their liver.”
Members of the public were encouraged to pop along to the Love Your Liver mobile unit in Argyle street to take a free liver screener, which assesses the potential for liver damage against the three main risk factors of alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis. A free FibroScan was offered to those who had a potential risk and those with high readings were recommended to speak to their GP.
Scotland has a significant liver disease crisis with around 900 deaths each year. In 2020, it was one of the leading causes of death in Scotland in those under the age of 75. Mortality rates are also four times higher in deprived areas compared to more affluent areas.
Pamela Healy OBE, Chief Executive of British Liver Trust, said: “One in five of us are at risk of liver disease and the numbers of people being diagnosed have been increasing at an alarming rate. Liver damage develops silently with no signs or symptoms and people often don’t realise they have a problem until it is too late. Although the liver is remarkably resilient, if left until symptoms appear, the damage is often irreversible.
“Our Love Your Liver roadshows are a great opportunity for people to find out their risk of liver disease and receive a free liver scan to see if there is any early damage. Approximately one in five people that are scanned are advised to have further checks.”
The British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver campaign focuses on three simple steps for liver health:
1. Drink within recommended limits and have three consecutive days off alcohol every week
2. Cut down on sugar, carbohydrates and fat, and take more exercise
3. Know the risk factors for viral hepatitis and get tested or vaccinated if at risk
You can find out if you are at risk and check your liver health online by doing the online screening test at https://www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/screener
For more If you couldn’t attend the events you can still find out if you are at risk and check your liver information on our Roadshows, visit: Love Your Liver Roadshows
Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, has called upon the Government to step in immediately to stop the rising waiting times for passport applications.
Her Majesty’s Passport Office has warned that applicants for new passports should “be prepared” for significant delays to applications in the coming months.
The impact of the pandemic saw over five million people delaying their renewal of passports between 2020 and 2021. With travel returning back to normal, applications for new passports for travellers are now reaching record highs.
Speaking on the impact of these delays, Thewliss described how difficult it has been for Glasgow Central constituents to receive their passports after applying for them.
Alison Thewliss said:
“Glasgow Central constituents have been contacting me to express their concerns over lengthy delays from the Passport Office – despite applications going in months ago.
“With a huge backlog of applications to deal with after the pandemic, I completely appreciate how difficult it must be for the workers in these offices to process the requests in a timely manner. I am hopeful that the UK Government will acknowledge the pressure being put on Passport Offices across the country and employ more people to deal with the backlog of cases.
“I am deeply concerned, however, by accounts from my constituents of being let down and lied to about their applications during a time of stress and uncertainty for them. One constituent in particular, Scott came to me with a list of false information he was given in relation to his passport application.
“This ranged from being told people could go to collect their passport, which he said was not possible, to being told he would only need to wait 10 weeks to receive his passport, despite eventually waiting 12 weeks to receive it.
“It is clear that there is immense pressure being put on Passport Offices across the country, but it remains completely unacceptable that my constituents are being given a false sense of hope during a time where they will no doubt be extremely nervous about being able to receive their passport in time.
“The Government must ensure that the information being provided by Passport Offices is honest and accurate.”