We are working hard to get the answers, help, and support that people need.

I now have a constituency office, at 1 Spiersbridge Way, Thornliebank, G46 8NL. Telephone 0141 648 8822. E-mail kirsten@kirstenoswaldmp.scot The office is not yet fully up and running – we are still waiting for furniture and equipment - but we aim to be operational within the next couple of weeks.

In any case, please do get in touch if you have any matters of concern.

It has also been great to have the chance to get out into all of our communities, where I have been holding surgeries every week, during the Westminster summer recess. This Friday afternoon I will be in the Duff Memorial Hall, Busby.

The people coming to the surgeries bring a range of concerns, and it is very worrying how many are facing real difficulty because of the Tory Westminster austerity cuts. It is easy to understand why people across the political divide are looking to the SNP as the real opposition to these damaging ideological policies.

We are all familiar with foodbanks, and they do a fantastic job, helping people in dire straits. Of course, we should not need foodbanks in Scotland, which is a prosperous country, but the reality for many people is that they don’t always have the cash to feed themselves and their families.

Too often, it is children who bear the brunt of the austerity cuts. Children in our area have gone back to school this week - an expensive time for parents. The kids need uniforms, PE kits, school bags, pencil cases, and much more.

So, in East Renfrewshire, as well as a foodbank, we also have a school uniform bank. An initiative that has spread across Scotland, started out in East Renfrewshire, where a local lady, Sandra Douglas, realised that for many families, the cost of kitting their children out for school was simply too great. She took it upon herself to organise the collection of new uniform items, and to organise for these to be distributed to children who needed these things and who would otherwise have had to go back to school without the proper kit.

I take my hat off to Sandra, and to the volunteer groups she has inspired to get up and running across the country. Now that children in our area are back at school, the group are focussing their attention on collecting winter school items – warm coats, hats, gloves, tights and so on.

Once our office is up and running, we’re happy to take in items of new school clothing which will be passed to the School Uniform Bank, to distribute to children in our area.