SIAA have recently written to new and returning MSPs to introduce ourselves as an organisation and take the opportunity to explain what independent advocacy is and the difference is can make in people’s lives. We have also been highlighting the key asks from our 2021 Manifesto that we published shortly before the election in May.
We would like to encourage you, our members, to write to the 8 MSPs in your constituency and region (you will have 1 constituency MSP and 7 regional MSPs). Building relationships with MSPs can be very helful in raising awareness about independent advocacy and gaining support for increasing resources for, and widening access to, independent advocacy. We know organisations are very busy just now so we’ve provided two things that we hope will make it easier and quicker for you to reach out to your MSPs;
- A template letter which you can modify with your organistion’s details, available below or via this downloadable Word document ‘MSP template letter for SIAA members 2021‘.
- An MSP database, compiled exclusively for members, to simplify gathering information about your local MSPs, including their email addresses.
You can access the database using the password: SIAAmembers2021
The database can be ‘filtered’, ‘grouped’ or ‘sorted’ using the bottons at the top left of the page, this will allow you to identify your constituency and regional MSPs and give you information about the following:
- Email address – which can be copy and pasted out of the database
- Political party
- If they hold a particular Government or Party role e.g. Cabinet Secretary or spokesperson
- Scottish Parliament committee membership
- Direct link to Twitter profiles
You can let SIAA know if you have any questions about writing to your MSPs or have had any interesting responses by emailing Rhona firstname.lastname@example.org or filling in the ‘Feedback and ideas‘ form.
MSP template letter for SIAA member
Dear [name of MSP] MSP,
Congratulations on being elected to become a member of the 2021-2026 Scottish Parliament.
[Name of your organisation] is an independent advocacy organisation working in [name of MSPs’ relevant constituency or region] that focuses on ensuring marginalised people’s voices are heard. Independent advocacy is about speaking up for, and standing alongside individuals or groups, and not being influenced by the views of others. It is about everyone having the right to a voice: addressing barriers and imbalances of power, and ensuring that people’s rights are recognised, respected and secured. Independent advocacy changes lives for the better.
For the next five years we believe that, as we move forward, it is important for everyone, especially marginalised people and groups, to be given the chance to have their voice heard as decisions are made. Independent advocacy is key to achieving this. To ensure access to independent advocacy current legislation and policy needs to be fully implemented. The right to access independent advocacy needs to be included in relevant future policy and legislation.
[Name of your organisation] hopes to be able to engage with you about our work as an independent advocacy organisation. To this end we are pleased to direct you to a copy of the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (SIAA) 2021 Manifesto which lays out a vision for independent advocacy in Scotland that we hope you will support us in achieving. The manifesto we have share with you focuses on the following three key themes:
- Improved access to independent advocacy
- Robust, strategic provision of independent advocacy
- Independent advocacy at the heart of policy making
We would be delighted to discuss any questions about independent advocacy you might have or any issues raised in the manifesto. To arrange a video or telephone call please contact [insert name of manager] on [xxx] or by email [xxxxx].
[name and organisation]