Ruth Maguire MSP has encouraged local organisations and community groups to share ideas which are being gathered to drive a fairer economy in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

The Scottish Government are looking for groups to share ideas and evidence based on their experiences of responding to the pandemic, and their engagement with people with lived experience of poverty and inequality.

Responses will help inform the work of the Scottish Government’s Advisory Board on Social Renewal, which is tasked with building on the positive policy and practice shifts seen during COVID-19 to tackle disadvantage and poverty, and advance equality and social justice.

Analysis of responses will feed into the board’s discussions, and a report on the outcomes will be published later this year.

The MSP for Cunninghame South said: “It’s clear that throughout this situation, we have all been in the same storm but we have not been in the same boat. The pandemic and the measures taken to contain it have disproportionately affected some groups in our communities more than others.

“In our recovery from the impact of Covid, we have an opportunity to bridge gaps in inequality and tackle poverty as we try to create a fairer economy for people in North Ayrshire and throughout the rest of the country.

“Anybody who has ideas and experience to share with the Social Renewal Advisory Board should make every effort to take part in this consultation in order to drive lasting changes in policy.”

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on the health, wealth and emotional wellbeing of our communities is vital to inform our response to and recovery from the pandemic. We also know particular groups have been disproportionately impacted by the crisis.

“That’s why we established the Social Renewal Advisory Board to focus on reducing poverty and disadvantage and advancing equality across a range of issues. We now want to hear from the many organisations and community groups working on social renewal that will have adapted, changed and repurposed in light of COVID-19. There is significant learning on this to be shared and we want to capture that expertise.

“Our call for ideas and evidence will help us drive forward our ambitions on creating a fairer, more equal society and ensure that the voices of those with lived experience are heard.”

The call for ideas and evidence will run until 16 October.

Information on how to take part in the call for ideas is available on the Scottish Government website.