Kirkintilloch aftercare stalwart welcomed to reopening of Scottish Parliament

A HILLHEAD aftercare stalwart posed for a selfie with the First Minister at the reopening of the Scottish Parliament on Saturday.

Robert Smith was selected by Rona Mackay, the MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, for his devotion in helping people through trauma.

The 51-year-old runs Kirkintilloch charity GRACE – Group Recovery Aftercare Community Enterprise – based in Hillhead Community Centre.

Along with dozens of other stand out citizens from across Scotland, Mr Smith attended the restart of the new session of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on Saturday, July 2.

Robert said: “I was absolutely delighted to attend the reopening of the Scottish Parliament.

“I’d like to thank our MSP, Rona Mackay, for nominating me to be the Local Hero for Strathkelvin and Bearsden. It’s brilliant for GRACE to get that sort of recognition.

“I still don’t feel like a hero but I accepted the nomination on behalf of the whole of GRACE.”

Ms Mackay said: “It was fantastic to welcome Robert and his wife to the Scottish Parliament’s official restart on Saturday.

“He had a brilliant time meeting First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, being in the presence of the Queen and all of the other festivities of the day.

“People like Robert need to be recognized for the benefits they bring to the communities they serve.

“I was very glad to play my part in ensuring Robert understands how much he is appreciated for his work at GRACE.”

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Rona Mackay was elected in May 2016 with a 8,100 majority in Strathkelvin and Bearsden.

Prior to this, she was a journalist in national newspapers for more than 20 years, before becoming Parliamentary Assistant to Clydebank and Milngavie MSP Gil Paterson, with whom she worked for nine years before becoming elected.



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