Momentum Skills’ Clients Hold ‘Question Time’ with Scottish Liberal Democrats Leader
Clients from Momentum Skills Pathways project were in 'Question Time' politics mode during a visit to Migvie House in Aberdeen by Willie Rennie MSP, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Willie Rennie MSP.
Clients had spent a great deal of time and effort into preparing for the visit by identifying the issues that were important to them and then putting the questions forward for the MSP to answer.
The questions covered a wide range of topics – ranging from the controversial ‘Bedroom Tax’ to gender equality within the party; and the European Union to the Scottish economy.
A number of the clients - who attend Momentum’s vocational rehabilitation centre for people with an acquired brain injury – found themselves more than a little surprised by how much they enjoyed the event as they had not considered politics to be something they were interested in.
Ryan Shaw, one of Momentum’s younger clients, said: “I enjoyed hearing everyone’s opinions. I didn’t think that I would, but in the end I thought it was interesting getting involved in the discussions.”
Kyle Mackay, another client, added: “Despite politics not being a strong interest of mine, I enjoyed the meeting with Willie Rennie. I found the different areas that we talked about interesting and I thought that he provided solid answers to the questions that were asked.”
Willie Rennie’s drop-in visit followed similar informal question and answer sessions attended by Dame Anne Beg, Labour MP for Aberdeen South, and also Mark McDonald who was then the SNP MSP for the North East of Scotland.
One of the clients who attended all three of the events was Billy Little. “Despite not being a Lib Dem voter, I thought Willie was excellent. He was honest and when he didn’t know something, he said so - and I respect him for that.”
The MSP enjoyed his visit – and found it refreshing to be put on the spot by clients. “Momentum Skills provides a critical service for people with injuries or conditions affecting the brain. Despite the challenges Momentum helps the clients live fulfilling lives. The session with the clients in Aberdeen was so enjoyable and rewarding I may well be back soon."
Liz Howarth, vocational tutor with Momentum Skills in Aberdeen believes there are numerous outcomes to be gained from holding such an event.
“It gives cause for clients to consider what issues are important to them and the exchange of ideas helps clients to learn from each other and form new opinions.
“Ultimately, having an opportunity to discuss these ideas with someone such as Willie Rennie is a great confidence building opportunity as it is something that they might otherwise not have had the chance to do.
“Momentum believe that it is important for our clients to have the opportunity to engage with the politicians that make decisions about the issues that affect them - and we are therefore delighted that Willie came along to the centre to meet with everyone.”