Evelyn Sweeney

I am a retired tutor of textile arts. My reason for joining the Assembly was two-fold. I was rudderless having just lost my husband John. I wanted to get out and this seemed like a good opportunity to keep being a part of society. I didn’t know how it was going to be structured, but I knew it was going to be in the political arena and looking at the kind of Scotland I want to live in, and that I’d hear others views.

The most memorable parts were when we all gathered together around the tables and all the individual groups had the chance to discuss to decide what we liked and what we thought needed to change. It was memorable all of us having a chance to have our views heard. Everyone was so organised. The Secretariat did a really good job.

I’ve learned that all of the people that I met, everyone wanted a fairer society. A lot of areas were in a state of imbalance, working conditions, housing conditions. Everyone was struggling with something and that was good to hear that we are not alone. Generally, we’re all too ready to jump to conclusions, we judge, it’s part of being human, but the assembly brought more clarity to the similarities as much as the differences.

The changes I want to see in Scotland as a result of the Assembly are on working conditions, zero hours contracts and especially throughout the pandemic it has left people falling between the cracks. We need to have a greater appreciation of those at the lower end of the wage scale. Universal basic income, an income that comes to you from birth. I feel strongly that no one should be struggling to have a roof over their head or choose between heating or eating.

Woman smiling