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Joanna's Office Advent


Joanna Cherry has always been a supporter of the diverse community initiatives and businesses in her constituency of Edinburgh South West.  Just like previous years, she and her team have used the month of December to promote these on Twitter, under the hashtag office advent. Joanna said “Every organisation my team and myself have visited has reminded us of the fantastic and diverse people that make up Edinburgh South West. From their enthusiasm and passion to the visible difference they are making in the lives of those they help, we are extremely grateful.”

Because of the continuing pandemic, 2021, like 2020, has been a particularly difficult year for individuals missing their usual groups, clubs and outings, and for community groups and businesses who have lost out on business, support and contacts. Joanna and her team have still managed to give their support virtually, or in a Covid safe way.

Joanna Cherry on a tri-shaw in the Meadows
Joanna Cherry MP visits Rosie's cafe on Dundee St

Joanna wanted to support small businesses in her constituency. On smallbusinesssaturday she visited two local cafes, both situated close to her constituency office on Dundee Street– Rosie’s and BLT.  She also enjoyed a ‘joy ride’ around the Meadows with Lissa McIntyre, of  – Lissa has a customised ‘trishaw’ – and electric bike with seats for up to two passengers. For Christmas Lissa was offering free rides for local care home residents so they could enjoy the feel of wind in their hair and take advantage of a bike ride which they could not achieve independently.

Joanna supported some Christmas themed fundraising ventures. She donated a Christmas light on the pentlandsspace virtual Christmas tree– raising money for an accessible community space in Juniper Green.  Joanna’s team dropped off some Christmas presents to Big Hearts – the Hearts of Midlothian official Charity who gave gifts to local people who would have nothing to open on Christmas Day.  The team also took part in Christmas jumper day in support of Save the Children Fund.  Joanna made a donation to Crisis-at-christmas to help homeless people at Christmas and also publicised an exhibition of art and craft items made by the staff and residents of Tiphereth Community

Despite the pandemic, there were still many community projects that Joanna could support.  Bookbug sessions in local libraries share stories and songs for babies, toddlers and pre-school children, the Scottish Book Trust promote access to books for all children.  Joanna visited Saughton Park on 9th December to see a concert by Forget Me Notes Choir, who work with music to combat the socially isolated and build communities. They are dementia friendly and open to all.

On 5th December, Joanna and her team visited Wester Hailes Bridge Hub, a social enterprise organisation and urban outdoor activity centre next to Edinburgh Union Canal.  They enjoyed the Covid-safe Nordic Twilight Experience at the outdoor Paddle Cafe.

The Space Broomhouse initiative offer food for the local community as well as a range of other services: young person counselling, carer support, youth befriending, a dementia friendly day care service, and many more.

Joanna promoted the Currie and Balerno News - a free local newspaper widely available in that area for whom she writes a monthly column. And on 14th December some members of Joanna’s team donated blood.

Finally, Joanna and her team enjoyed a virtual Christmas Party on 17th December before they closed the office for the Christmas break after a very busy year.

Joanna's team in Christmas jumpers