'THE most visible part of being an MSP to the public at large, is First Minister’s Questions. Weekly sparring between the Party leaders on topical issues. The Scottish Parliament is in recess for the summer so this isn’t happening at the moment but the work of an MSP continues and a lot of the most important but often not publicly recognised work gets done during this time of year.

Now that it is recess and Parliament isn’t sitting again until September, I am getting the chance to go around the constituency and meet with a lot of local organisations to learn more about what they do and find out what assistance I can provide to them. This may take the form of supporting a campaign they are involved in, holding a Parliamentary debate on their subject of interest, putting out a press release to highlight their cause or writing a letter in support of their funding application.

I have some truly amazing organisations in the area I represent, run by local volunteers and pillars of the local communities. For example, Auchmuty and Dovecot Tenants and Residents Association (ADTRA) recently received a massive funding boost from the Big Lottery Fund to the tune of over £110,000. ADTRA operates the Auchmuty Community Flat and this funding boost will allow them to take on more volunteers, open the flat for longer and run a weekend foodbank. I was delighted to visit ADTRA last week to present them with a copy of a recent Parliamentary motion I had submitted to recognise their good work in the local community.

I was also pleased to be able to visit Citizens Advice and Rights Fife (CARF) in Glenrothes recently to talk to them about the valuable work they are doing on behalf of people in my constituency. CARF provide free financial health checks, to ensure that people are getting everything that they are entitled to and can help with things like Universal Credit problems and debt counselling.

As well as organisations providing practical and much-needed assistance to families who are struggling, I also have the opportunity to meet people who are making life a more colourful spectacle for those around them. Largo Arts Festival, which ran from 20-28 July was a runaway success, with intimate venues and wonderful entertainment, storytelling on the beach, poetry and music, artists of all hues exhibiting their works. It went from concept to realisation over the course of a year and pulled in the local community, inspiring people to give of their time and expertise for the enjoyment of others.

This is a small snapshot of a Parliamentary recess and I would encourage any constituents in need of support or advice to get in touch with my office. Being an MSP is, after all, about helping the people I represent in Fife'.