'AS we enter a new decade already filled with political uncertainty – from Brexit to Donald Trump’s warmongering in the Middle East – it is important that we don’t forget the swathes of good that are going on locally within our communities.

The festive period provided the perfect opportunity to reflect on the power and importance of community and explore the many community initiatives going on across Central Fife. With reports of increased food bank use in the Kingdom combined with an increase in the number of families struggling at the hands of Universal Credit, we now have a greater need for help from community groups than ever before. I am indebted to those who were involved in supporting good causes this Christmas such as Collydean Community Centre who kindly offered those in need or alone a free meal on Christmas Day.

For many parents, the festive season means extra pressure on household budgets, which can cause unbearable stress for families. It is heart-warming to know that community groups like Auchmuty & Dovecot Tenants & Residents Association (ADTRA) in Glenrothes are trying to help parents keep it special for their children through their Christmas Appeal. I was pleased to support their appeal, which helped more than 177 families this Christmas and ensured that all children in the area had a present to open on Christmas day.

Locally the Glenrothes Marie Curie Fundraising group continued to excel in 2019 and in September I had the opportunity to host my own Blooming Great Tea Party in conjunction with the group. We raised over £290 for the charity – a small feat compared to what the group has achieved in recent years.

Since the Glenrothes Marie Curie group launched five years ago, they have raised donations totalling over £70,000. Their selfless efforts not only work to increase national awareness but help the organisation to provide crucial care and support to those living with a terminal illness and their families. I am grateful to those involved for their drive, enthusiasm and inspiring dedication to improving the lives of so many.

I wish all my constituents the best for 2020 and beyond. I look forward to continuing to promote the work of these indispensable stalwarts of the community who, no matter the extent of political chaos the world finds itself in, are always there as beacons of hope for us all'.