I live in Tillicoultry with my partner who has an antique business and I help to run the business. I’m a retired financial business development manager and had my 70th birthday during lockdown. Before this relationship which started 4 years ago I was a widow who lived in Edinburgh and travelled a lot, Italy being my favourite destination. Now my social life is definitely curtailed.
I agreed to become a member because it sounded really interesting although I had never heard of citizen assemblies. I had to think hard before I joined because my weekends are important to me. Also I was concerned it would be very political and I find Scottish politics very decisive and emotive. I decided to do it and have no regrets. It has been extremely interesting and I learned a lot.
It is difficult to pick out the most memorable experience as there have been many. The first was the initial weekend and the visit to the castle. Very impressive. Meeting new people from all over Scotland and the speakers were inspirational. It made you want to be a part of it. The whole experience has been very positive. The people being the most interesting, from the speakers, the facilitators the members and everyone involved. It highlighted that we are all alike no matter our background and want the best for Scotland. Also it made me realise I could still contribute in discussions without feeling stupid and could mix with young and old and try and make a contribution. So probably my most memorable is how we could all work as a group and always end up with a consensus.
I feel I have learned a lot. I found the different speakers were very interesting. The MPs question and answer. The sustainability debate. The demographic of Scotland. Although due to my job I travelled all over Scotland and knew different areas well especially the cities but I was shocked to learn the differences in life span from one district to another. Scotland has a long way to go to try and get rid of poverty and try and make Scotland an affluent country for all. I learned that we might not agree politically but we all want the same outcome.
I would like to see our recommendations taken on board by the Scottish parliament. I would like to see more transparency in the government and instead of Indy, Indy, Indy which can be very decisive to all let us govern for all not just the SNP.