Scottish Conservative MSP for South Scotland Michelle Ballantyne has praised the Borders Talking Newspaper in a debate to celebrate its 25th anniversary
Mrs. Ballantyne, speaking in a Members’ Debate brought by Conservative colleague Rachael Hamilton, drew attention to the work of the Newspaper’s founder, Matilda Mitchell, and the passion and dedication of its volunteers, who have never failed to produce an edition in over 25 years.
Michelle called upon her years of experience in Nursing to highlight the manifest impact of blindness or visual impairment, and how the Borders Talking Newspaper provides such a valuable service in combatting social isolation for those affected by these conditions.
Further, the South Scotland MSP added to the sentiments of Rachael Hamilton in calling for more people to get involved in supporting and growing Talking Newspapers throughout Scotland.
The debate was followed by an event in the Parliament hosted by Rachael Hamilton MSP and attended by users of the Borders Talking Newspaper service, as well as Michelle Ballantyne MSP.
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Michelle Ballantyne MSP said:
“The Borders Talking Newspaper’s longevity is testament to the volunteers’ unwavering passion for, and commitment to, the service they provide.
“I do not and cannot know what it must be like to be blind or visually impaired. But I am well aware, from my years of nursing, that adjusting to sight loss can reduce confidence, leading to risk of isolation; of being afraid and trapped in your own home; and of feeling excluded and closed off from the social aspects of day-to-day life. Not having access to local news is one very significant aspect of this social isolation.
“In this regard, the Borders Talking Newspaper is – and always has been – a lifeline.
“It is my sincere hope that this debate will encourage more people to get involved in backing and growing Talking Newspapers across Scotland”.