MSP recognises South Uist charity campaigner

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Western Isles MSP, Alasdair Allan, has named his nomination for the isles’ local hero to attend the official opening of the Scottish Parliament on Saturday 2 July.

South Uist woman Gemma Steele has been nominated as a local hero for her tireless charitable work helping children in Kenya.

Gemma was just a teenager when she travelled to Kenya to volunteer at an orphanage.

When the orphanage had to close down, Gemma raised funds to build a new one and eventually founded the St Jerome’s Orphanage.

All 129 MSPs were invited to nominate a constituent who makes a positive difference to the lives of others as their Local Hero.

On Saturday 2 July, all Local Heroes will come to Holyrood as part of the Scottish Parliament’s Opening Ceremony events to mark the start of a new parliamentary session.

The day will include:

Her Majesty The Queen addressing MSPs in the Chamber.

Local Heroes taking part in the ‘Riding’ procession down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, along with around 2,000 other participants in a colourful, historic tradition. The Riding will feature people from all walks of public life and local community groups, plus music and entertainment.

Holyrood’s ‘Big Day Out’ – a fun packed afternoon for all the family. With a programme that has something for everyone, the gardens and doors of the Parliament will be open to all to explore, observe and participate in a full programme of events including a mini-Highland games, Music and Dance, Science and Nature, Art activities for Kids and much more.

Alasdair Allan commented: “As the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament gets underway, it’s right that the people of Scotland are placed at the heart of our events.

“Together with my fellow MSPs, we want to celebrate the achievements of our Local Heroes from across every constituency and region in Scotland.

“Gemma is clearly an exceptional individual and her work has been a true inspiration to others.

“She has shown incredible dedication to helping transform the lives of young people in Kenya by founding an orphanage.

“I think Gemma epitomises the warm, outward looking, charitable character of these isles and I look forward to seeing her take part in the opening of Parliament.”