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Thursday 4 July 2019 – For Immediate Release

VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT FOR EXPERIENCE PANELS – HELP BUILD A SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR CLAIMANTS

Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Perthshire South & Kinross-shire constituency, has welcomed information received from Shirley-Anne Somerville, the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security & Older People regarding the establishment of new ‘Experience Panels’ designed to provide a new opportunity for people in Scotland to become involved in shaping Scotland’s Social Security system.

Speaking today, Ms Cunningham said:

“The Scottish Government is committed to delivering a social security system which treats claimants with dignity and respect and an important part of that is ensuring that the experience people have had in the past is taken on board.

“The Social Security Experience Panels were first launched in 2017 and more than 2,400 people from across Scotland joined as volunteer Experience Panel members and their input has informed key decisions in the design of the Scottish social security system.

From Social Security Scotland’s opening hours, to the design of benefit application forms, to how staff behave, and how the changes are communicated to people, the Experience Panels are the key mechanism for putting the user voice at the centre of social security, to ensure that a system is designed that works for those who use it.

“Having now reached the mid-point of the Experience Panels work, recruitment of panel members has been re-opened and I would really encourage constituents who have relevant experience of the social security system to become involved in this important work.”

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