SNP MSP praises Salvation Army’s Scottish Election 2016 film project

published on 9 Feb 2016

A Salvation Army film project has been giving people at risk of being made homeless the chance to quiz politicians on the issues affecting them.

Service users at The Salvation Army's Greenock Floating Support Service – which provides housing support to adults with addiction issues – got the chance to come up with some questions for local SNP MSP Stuart McMillan.

The event was the latest part of The Salvation Army's Scottish Election 2016 film project – a series of short films that will be used to highlight the main political parties’ responses to issues highlighted by the church and charity's frontline services. The issues are: drug and alcohol misuse, homelessness, employability, older people, and debt. The series of short films will be released on social media in the weeks before the Scottish Election on May 5, 2016.

Leaders and representatives from the five main political parties have accepted an invitation to visit a frontline Salvation Army service that deals with one of the issues in the films.

Stuart McMillan, MSP for West Scotland, said: "As the SNP representative in The Salvation Army's film project, it has been a hugely interesting experience.

“I'm well aware of the wide range of services The Salvation Army provides in Greenock and across Scotland. I've always been greatly impressed by this work and I know that it genuinely helps people get their lives back so they can contribute in a positive way to society.

"The public sector can't solve every single issue and this is where organisations like The Salvation Army have a huge part to play in our communities."

Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Roberts, The Salvation Army's Assistant to the Secretary for Scotland, said: "This is a great opportunity for The Salvation Army and our service users to ask the questions that matter. For example, one issue that has come up among our service users is the availability of sustainable tenancies for vulnerable adults."

One service user who got to put a question to the MSP was Shaun Murphy. Shaun has been with The Salvation Army since 2007 in Greenock before being supported into his own flat.

Shaun asked Mr McMillan if the Scottish Government would consider banning alcohol advertising in public. Mr McMillan replied that the matter was a reserved issue for Westminster but added that the Scottish Government would continue to press the UK government to do more around marketing and advertising.

Shaun said: "It was good to be able to put our questions to Mr McMillan. I'm pleased to be able to take part in this kind of thing with The Salvation Army because I wouldn't be alive without their support over the years.

"I'm originally from Lincolnshire but now I've made a life for myself in Greenock. So much so that when my dad died in 2013 my mum moved up to live permanently. Now we both go to The Salvation Army's church service every Sunday."