One of the greatest pleasures I enjoy as an MP is the chance to meet and speak with constituents, whether it be at my surgeries or during visits out and about in our communities.
Swapping the hot air in Westminster for the opportunity to discuss the issues that really matter to local people is always refreshing.
Some of the most enjoyable experiences I have had as a politician have been on the doorsteps, in schools and workplaces, and at community events and celebrations.
Since being elected, I have visited over 100 charities, businesses and community organisations.
I have also held frequent street surgeries and engaged with constituents on important issues by holding special surgeries covering Pension Credits, Child Maintenance and women’s State Pension inequality.
UK Parliament Week, which launches on Saturday (November 2), turns the tables and encourages members of the public to engage with the UK Parliament.
The event is a UK-wide festival which aims to engage people, especially young people, from different backgrounds and communities, with the UK Parliament and empower them to get involved.
This is a great opportunity to be part of our democracy, ask questions, think critically and engage with the UK Parliament.
A number of schools, libraries, faith communities and youth organisations representing every constituency across the United Kingdom have already signed up to be part of the conversation, including Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade units, Girlguiding groups, Scouts and the Scottish Youth Parliament.
More than 600 groups have signed up in Scotland so far, and I hope more organisations and clubs from Rutherglen and Hamilton West will join them.
I am committed to ensuring that our voters and citizens of tomorrow understand how vital their participation is in our democracy, and I’m excited to see so many local groups and organisations taking part.
This is UK Parliament Week’s ninth year. It began in 2011 and has grown year on year.
Last year the festival reached almost one million people, with more than 8,100 activities.
This year, it is expected to be the largest ever with even more activities and people taking part.
Those signing up will receive a free kit packed full of resources, such as an activity book offering discussions, voting, games and quizzes, as well as bunting and badges.
You can also share more about your event and pictures on social media. Join in the conversation using the hashtag #UKPW and follow @YourUKParl for the latest updates.
For more information on UK Parliament Week or to sign up, visit https://www.ukparliamentweek.org/