As the parliamentary summer recess comes to an end and MSPs prepare to return to Holyrood, I have been reflecting on some of the visits and meetings I have participated in over the summer.

These activities invariably serve as important reminders of the network of essential support and services that exist across East Lothian. During the summer period, one of the most crucial of these are the various clubs and groups that are run for children and families. I want to pay tribute once again to all the staff and volunteers involved in delivering summer provision across the county and thank them for their dedication to that work.

Another important network I met with over the summer was Carers of East Lothian’s Carers Panel. I joined my parliamentary colleague Pam Duncan-Glancy at the panel to discuss some of the problems young disabled people face transitioning into adult services, further education or work, as well as other topical issues for carers. We were grateful to the panel members for giving us the opportunity to join them at what was a really useful session.

A visit to world leading local thermal storage technologies company, Sunamp Ltd, with my colleague Sarah Boyack, was a chance to hear more about their cutting-edge design and manufacture of thermal storage systems. The firm is very much at the forefront of this crucial technology and has ambitious plans for continuing its development.

Finally, 28 August to 3 September is the first Scotland Loves Local Week, promoting the campaign to put localism at the heart of a stronger, greener, fairer Scotland. I have supported the campaign from the outset, as a great opportunity to promote local businesses and communities and celebrate all the collaborative working that is happening to create better places in which to live, work and visit.

Find out more about the week and how to get involved at