NO2NP ACTION DAY: FORT WILLIAM

The lauded Highland Pathfinder pilot of the Scottish Government’s controversial Named Person scheme has been the subject of much criticism in recent days within the Highland region itself, so it was going to be interesting to see what those who live and work in the region’s second largest settlement thought about it.

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Almost immediately, the team found people who worked in the public sector – teachers, social workers, care workers – who were all against the scheme, described this week by the region’s Deputy Council leader as “intrusive nonsense”. The team were given similar responses by the general public, with one man describing it as “sinister” and another saying: “They’ve got to decide whether they’re going to let parents be parents”.

One couple had decided to move from the city to the beautiful Highland town because they wanted to raise their children in the peace and quiet of a rural community. But they were very much against the idea of their children having a state guardian, who would constantly be scrutinising their parenting skills and noting down any failings.

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One lady took a bunch of flyers to distribute around her own rural community which was great! If you’d like to help get the message out in your community, please get in touch with us at volunteers@no2np.org

The team will be joined by some locals in Stornoway town centre this Saturday afternoon. If you live in Lewis, come and join them.

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NO2NP ACTION DAY: PETERHEAD

The weather was a bit ‘dreich’ on Saturday morning in Peterhead, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the volunteers who turned up to hand out flyers in the town centre. Thanks to all of them for coming along!

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As with other parts of the country, the team found that many people are still completely unaware of the scheme. That just goes to show how important these Action Days are!

Time and time again, people could not believe that, come 31st August, every single child and young person in Scotland will have a state-appointed ‘Named Person’ responsible for their wellbeing. Reactions like “You’ve GOT to be joking!” were common, while one gentleman said: “My grandchildren have got parents, two sets of grandparents and aunts and uncles – there’s absolutely no need for a Named Person!” We think so too.

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An entire family were happy to be photographed. Auntie had already signed the petition, but Mum, Dad and Gran were all happy to sign there and then. Thanks for your support folks!

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A number of locals expressed their appreciation for what we were doing, for which the team were very grateful.

The NO2NP team are heading to the other side of the country this week, where they will host a roadshow event in Fort William on Thursday afternoon, with an Action Day in the town centre on Friday morning. If you live in the area, please come to one or both these events!

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NO2NP ACTION DAY: CRIEFF

Following the successful roadshow event in the town last week, a team of local NO2NP-ers were out on Saturday morning to let people know about the dangers of the Named Person scheme.

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Before the team had even set out, they encountered people around them who were opposed to the intrusive scheme. A GP who was visiting the town with her family, told them that when she tried to refer one of her child patients to CAMHS, she was told there had to be a case conference meeting with the Named Person first. Inevitably this delayed help for the child and usurped the GP’s professional judgment.

Out on the streets the team discovered that many people were unaware of the Government’s universal state guardian scheme for all children and young people under 18. There were some memorable quotes:-

“They’re doing away with the need for parents at all – it’s like Brave New World!”

“This won’t make things any better – they need to be focussing on the vulnerable children instead.”

“It’s just not right. People need to fight this.”

“Come on, how are teachers going to find the time to do this when they are off with stress and our kids are taught by supply teachers half the time?”

One man came out of work especially to sign the petition, while others regularly approached the team for flyers.

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Several people signed the petition – in fact, only one person all day appeared to be in favour of the scheme and even he agreed it shouldn’t be compulsory.

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So the message was clear: Crieff says “No to Named Persons!”

Our next Action Day is in Peterhead this Saturday, 11 June. If you live in the area, why not join us? If you’d like to do so or if you’d like to help the campaign generally, get in touch with us at volunteers@no2np.org.

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