Dame Anne was delighted to be invited to Woodend Nursery to celebrate World School Milk Day and the benefits of drinking milk.
Dame Anne said “ I am supporting World School Milk Day and the school milk scheme as I am aware of the positive effect it has in encouraging children to drink milk throughout their childhood, ensuring they develop healthy bones. I remember drinking milk as a child and I still love it.”
World School Milk Day is organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and is celebrated in over 30 countries around the world.
Dame Anne has backed Cancer Research UK’s campaign ‘The answer is plain’ supporting the plain packaging of tobacco products with the aim of reducing the number of underage smokers. In response to the government’s “Stoptober” campaign, Dame Anne emphasises that “although smokers should be encouraged to stop, the government needs to also tackle the root causes of why people start smoking.”
Dame Anne has discovered that approximately 2,550 children in Grampian are regular smokers. Furthermore, almost a quarter of Aberdonians smoke frequently. Dame Anne said: “These statistics are shocking. The number of children smoking is clearly far too high and should be addressed. Most smoking-related deaths in the city are preventable and reducing the number of smokers – especially underage ones – is critical to this.”
Research shows that plain, standardised packaging makes cigarettes less attractive to children. On average, eight in ten smokers start by the age of 19. Dame Anne said: “It’s crucial that the government works to de-glamorise smoking as much as possible and expose the true risks of the habit to children, which will significantly reduce the chances of them starting smoking later in life.”
Cancer UK described current packaging as “a seductive marketing tool that attracts young people in to a habit that kills half of all long term smokers.”
Dame Anne stated: “Underage smoking is a distinct problem in Aberdeen South and I am eager to investigate ways of preventing it. Plain packaging is a widely recommended solution and I am keen to see this introduced.”
“Whilst I encourage the government’s efforts to promote ‘Stoptober,’ it needs to dissuade people from smoking in the first place, which many say is caused by the attractive packaging.”
“Young people can be easily tempted by advertising and with the vast majority of smokers starting before the age of 19, stubbing out teenage smoking must be a government priority.”
Today Dame Anne Begg MP wrote to the Prime Minster, David Cameron MP, after receiving a number of colourful medals from S1 and S2 pupils at Kincorth Academy highlighting the issue of access to education for children across the world through the “Send my Friend to School” campaign.
Dame Anne is pleased to be able to display the work in her office and the vibrant medals will draw the attention of visitors to the problems experienced by children across the world in accessing education. The ‘Send my Friend to School’ campaign chose the theme of medals to tie in with the Olympics highlighting that whilst not all of us are world classed athletes, the race to ensure that all children can attend school by 2015 is one we can all take part in.
Therefore, Dame Anne has written to the Prime Minster to ask that he take action to ensure that all children have access to education by 2015. With 67 million children still denied access to education, pressure on world leaders needs to be maintained to ensure that this goal is met by 2015.
Dame Anne Begg MP encourages everyone in Aberdeen South to answer the question “What does representation mean to you in 2012?” for a chance to contribute to REPRESENT, a poem which will be created as part of the Arts in Parliament programme this summer.
REPRESENT is about you and your connection to Parliament. Your response could be about making your voice heard, or about getting others to listen. It might be about how you are represented now or how you would like that to be changed. Or it might be about your identity and how that affects how you are represented in 2012. Whatever it is you’d like to say, you can do it with lyrics, rhyme, prose, or even just a couple of sentences.
“I think REPRESENT offers an exciting opportunity to talk about representation and what it means to get your voice heard. I am delighted that the poem will be shown in the historic setting of Westminster Hall during the Arts in Parliament programme this summer, and I encourage everyone in my constituency to get involved,” said Dame Anne.
Using the responses from across the UK, award-winning poet and performer Inua Ellams will create a single poem which will be shown as a film online and in Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament between m 1 – 6 August 2012.
To participate, include your first name, age and city or town you live in, and submit your short contributions via: email to email@example.com, Twitter using the hashtag #represent2012 or YouTube. Submissions must be received by Monday 25 June 2012. For full rules and details visit: www.parliament.uk/artsinparliament
REPRESENT is a partnership project between Arts in Parliament, an innovative and unique programme which brings visual art, music, dance and poetry into the iconic setting of the Houses of Parliament in the Olympic year, and the UK’s leading spoken word organisation, Apples & Snakes.
Dame Anne Begg MP met with two school pupils from Aberdeen South, Lucy Logan and Sophie Lawson, ahead of their visit to Westminster to lobby MPs for increased investment in medical research to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes.
Unfortunately, Dame Anne will not be able to meet them in Westminster as she is still in hospital so Lucy and Sophie took the opportunity to lobby Anne in hospital. They presented to her scrapbooks detailing their experiences of type 1 diabetes and explained to Anne how they manage their conditions.
Dame Anne said: “The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) have organised the Type 1 Parliament visit to raise awareness about how difficult life can be for young people with type 1 diabetes. In meeting Lucy and Sophie, it’s remarkable to learn how complex it is to manage the condition but it also remarkable to hear how they do handle it. They are both extremely knowledgeable about type 1 diabetes and the steps they have to take to stay healthy.”
Lucy who is aged 11 and attends Mile End Primary School explained to Anne the importance of increasing Government investment in the research of type 1 diabetes. She said: “I would like to see a cure because there are some jobs that people with diabetes cannot do. For example, people with type 1 diabetes cannot be pilots or air stewards.”
Lucy has an insulin pump to manage her condition which prevents overdoses of insulin. However, Sophie does not have one. She said: “Pumps are important for those sufferers who can’t control their condition with injections. We know that the NHS have pumps but they need money to train staff on how to work them.”
Sophie also said: “I would like to see a cure. I want to get my childhood back and be able to do what my friends can do.”
Anne was delighted to field a wide range of questions from Primary 6 pupils at St Margaret’s School for Girls.As well as asking about the process of creating legislation, the pupils asked Anne for her views on issues such as the environment, agriculture and representation of women in Parliament.
On Friday 16th December Dame Anne Begg, MP for Aberdeen South, presided over the prize giving ceremony for the winner and runners up of her 2011 Christmas Card Competition at Asda, Bridge of Dee. The competition was open to all Primary School children in Aberdeen South and the entries were displayed in Asda.
The competition was judged by Steve Bedford of Mnemonic Photography and Katy Spry, recent graduate of Gray’s School of Art, and they had a tough job choosing only one winner from almost 1,000 entries! After much deliberation, the judges chose a colourful entry from Abigail Byrne, Lower 6B at Albyn School.
The following children were also chosen as runners up: Bobbie Johnstone, P1, Kirkhill School; Ellie Heffernan, P2/3, Hazlehead Primary School; Luisa Hector, 4S, Culter School; Cameron Dawson, Lower 4B, Albyn School; Georgia Ruddiman, 6JM, St Margaret’s School for Girls; and Ellis Thomson, p6/7, Ferryhill Primary School.
Dame Anne said: “I was pleased to receive almost a thousand entries this year from primary schools across my constituency of Aberdeen South and I know that the high standard of the entries presented a real challenge for the judges as they were only able to choose one winner.”
At the end of this year’s successful Parliament Week, Dame Anne Begg MP was invited to Aberdeen Grammar to meet with the Advanced Higher class and answer their questions on crime and justice in the UK. Dame Anne welcomed the opportunity to discuss this important issue with the students.
As part of Parliament week, Dame Anne visited Torry Academy to talk about her work. A second year class who had been studying elections held their hustings meeting and election while Dame Anne watched. This was followed by a Question and Answer session with the Modern Studies Higher class.
On 7th October, Dame Anne took part in a Question Time-style event in Portlethen. Dame Anne, along with her North East colleagues, fielded questions on youth unemployment, transport and housing. The event was successfully organised by young people in Portlethen with support from Scottish Labour Council candidate Alison Evison.