As I approach my one-year anniversary in the job, I would firstly like to thank you all for your support and for keeping me so busy since starting last June.

I am immensely proud to represent such a great constituency in the House of Commons and to be able to use the position to help people from every corner of East Renfrewshire.

In that time, supported by my fantastic constituency office team in Thornliebank, I have dealt with well over 1,600 individual cases and helped constituents recover more than £45,000 in rebates, underpayments and incorrectly withheld money from various third parties.

I’m always happy to help promote and support local charities and organisations and have helped with a number of applications, securing over £25,000 in new funding.

It has certainly been a busy first year but I am under no illusions about how much more I want and need to achieve for you all.

Without doubt, my favourite part of the job is getting out and about to see the best of the community and do what I can to make a difference.
Like the local residents who successfully battled against Gladman’s ludicrous application to build houses on the Fereneze Braes or the residents of Uplawmoor taking the fight to Glasgow Airport, when people have common cause, so much can be achieved.

I have mentioned a fair few number of charities in my column over these 12 months but it is important to remember that, without such loyal volunteers, many East Renfrewshire organisations and charities would simply not be able to keep going.

I’ve been to over 200 local charities and businesses so far and I’ve barely scratched the surface.

If I could highlight one in particular that represents everything that is great about East Renfrewshire – and Barrhead in particular – it has to be the Bourock Soup Stop.

The volunteers there provide a healthy home-made lunch to people from all backgrounds and have raised £70,000 in the process – caring for others and lending a helpful hand.

It was also a pleasure to join my colleague Jackson Carlaw MSP recently to host a special afternoon tea for over 50 pensioners in celebration of the royal wedding.

We joined forces with Age Concern to welcome the pensioners to Eastwood House prior to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Windsor.

It was lovely to get into the royal wedding spirit with so many constituents.

Thanks go to Waitrose, in Newton Mearns, for their continued support of the local community, which was this time shown through a plentiful supply of cakes.

Lastly, I am (against my better judgement) taking part in a firewalk for East Renfrewshire charity Rebecca Rocks, which was set up by my office manager Andrea in memory of her little girl Rebecca, who passed away due to meningitis when she was only two.

The money raised will go to Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) to allow children who attend the Robin House hospice to enjoy concerts with carers and to put on music events at the hospice itself.

We’re hoping to raise £5,000 before the event on June 30, so if you fancy the prospect of seeing your Tory MP going up in flames and can help at all, the donation link is
Thank you.