Local hero Fiona ready for opening of Parliament

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A YOUNG local hero will represent Angus South constituency at the formal opening of the Scottish Parliament’s fourth session.

Fiona Walsh (24) will join local heroes from across the country in Edinburgh on Friday, July 1, after being nominated by Angus South MSP Graeme Dey.

She will participate in the Riding of the Royal Mile which follows the official opening ceremony at Holyrood, which is to be performed by Her Majesty The Queen.

Fiona dedicates much of her time to visiting schools and youth organisations to talk to young people about the perils of drug taking and the harm it can inflict both on the addicts and their families. In addition to working at Volunteer Centre Angus, she is mum to an eight-month-old baby girl and has been drug-free for four years.

Mr Dey said: “Fiona’s approach is not to preach an anti-drugs message because she knows that when young people are told not to do something that tends to make the thing even more appealing.

“Instead she talks to them about her experience and the impact being a drug addict had on herself and her family. And when it comes to dealing with addicts, she puts herself forward as evidence that they can turn their lives around and have a brighter future.”

He continued: “Given the extent to which drugs blight not just areas of Arbroath but across the other towns of Angus South, Fiona’s contribution to tackling the issue is extremely important.

“She is a great example not only of someone beating an addiction but then going on to try and help others either avoid what happened to her or following her lead.”

Fiona commented: “Volunteering has been crucial in helping me move forward in my life. I first visited Volunteer Centre Angus over four years ago and have never looked back.

“Volunteering kept me busy and helped me get employment doing something I believe in. As a volunteer I have given talks to schools, youth groups, addicts and sex workers in Edinburgh, promoting volunteering as a positive pathway to help people create better futures for themselves.”