CrossReach's immense and life changing work hailed by MSPs

Jim Eadie MSP, the Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison and Dave Thompson MSP at the Scottish Parliament.

Social care provider CrossReach has been recognised in the Scottish Parliament for the "immense, life changing" work it does to support the most vulnerable people in society.

SNP MSP Jim Eadie is lodging a motion today to congratulate staff and volunteers who strive to enable service users the length and breadth of the country to realise their dreams, aspirations and attain the highest quality of life possible.

His parliamentary colleague Anne McTaggart, a Labour MSP, said it would be "devastating" for people and their families if the services provided by CrossReach, which can trace its roots back to 1869, disappeared overnight.

And Highland SNP MSP Dave Thompson said the organisation did an "huge" amount of good work and the care function in Scotland would be plunged into "a major crisis" if it stopped operating.

Run by the Church of Scotland, CrossReach is one of the biggest organisations of its kind and provides around 70 services at locations across the country.It has an annual expenditure of £45 million and employs around 2,000 people.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland the Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison said CrossReach was one of the country's "best kept secrets" and he was "very proud" to be associated with such an "incredible" organisation.

He joined staff, volunteers and service users at a special CrossReach drop-in event at Holyrood on Thursday.MSPs who attended in a show of support and appreciation for the work CrossReach does included Mr Eadie, Mr Thompson, Ms McTaggart, SNP MSPs Stewart Stevenson, Bob Doris, John Mason and Conservative MSP Nanette Milne.

Addressing guests, Mr Eadie, MSP for Edinburgh Southern, said: "I want to pay tribute to CrossReach and the work that you do in social care provision.

"CrossReach provides life changing services across the country from Shetland down to the Scottish Borders and covers a range of very important service provision – mental health, substance misuse, learning disability, care of children and families as well as care of older people.

"On behalf of my parliamentary colleagues I would want to put on record my thanks and appreciation for the important work that you do."

Ms McTaggart, a Glasgow list MSP, said: "If CrossReach disappeared overnight it would have a devastating impact on Scotland – for individuals, families and communities."Where would they turn to? Who is actually doing the real work on the ground in communities? Who is there to assist and support people?"

CrossReach's contribution to society is immense because it does what is says on the tin.

"It reaches out across communities and targets individuals in need and offers people hope, which ;makes a real difference."

Mr Thompson, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, said organisations like CrossReach do a "huge amount" of work in society.

"If we were to lose bodies like CrossReach then the whole care function would suddenly be in major crisis because the government would not be able to fill that gap," he added."

The more that we talk about what is actually done by bodies like CrossReach the better because they make a huge contribution to life in Scotland."Dr Morrison said CrossReach was an "amazing" organisation.

"It is surely one of the best kept secrets in the country, an incredible movement of people providing high quality care in every part of Scotland and in every part of society," he added.

"This is work that cares from the cradle to the grave from our pioneering work offering perinatal or post-natal counselling, work with children and families in the gloriously diverse community of Govanhill in Glasgow.

"CrossReach offers respite holidays, supports people struggling against mental illness, gives a helping hand to those at risk of becoming homeless, enables people with learning disabilities to flourish and uses art to work alongside those struggling with dementia.

"It is an organisation that I am very proud to be associated with."