TO mark 25 years of the Scottish Parliament, the Borders will be visited by the parliament's Presiding Officer to hear residents' reflections on the last 25 years of devolution.

The Rt Hon Alison Johnstone MSP, Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer, will visit Galashiels and Hawick on Monday, May 20.

Representatives from Borders Community Action, Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS) and Burnfoot Community Futures will join the visit, as well as constituency and regional MSPs.

Ms Johnstone said: “In our 25th anniversary year, there will be reflection on what the Parliament has achieved. While that is important, I want the Parliament’s focus to be firmly on the future.

“I want to use this milestone to hear from people in the South of Scotland and all over the country about their aspirations for their Parliament.

“I hope that this visit encourages more people to be inspired to get involved with their Parliament – from a visit or watching a debate online, to giving their views to a committee or contacting their local MSP about issues that are important to them.

“This visit is also an opportunity to highlight the achievements of community groups in the Scottish Borders, whose work provides vital support for many people.”

On Monday the Presiding Officer's visit to the Borders will begin at MacArts in Galashiels where she will meet with local residents.

Juliana Amaral, chief executive officer at Borders Community Action said: “We are delighted to be part of the round of celebrations of the 25 years of Scottish Parliament in the Scottish Borders.

"We truly believe that community participation is the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy, and it is part of our role to ensure that the third sector and the voices of those in rural communities who are often overlooked are heard.

"We look forward to the events and building a stronger relationship with the Scottish Parliament, so we can ensure our communities' insights are valued and heard.

"Together, we can collaborate with a Scottish Parliament that truly represents and serves all its people.”

Then in the afternoon the visit will travel to Burnfoot Community Futures in Hawick, where the Presiding Officers will meet with parents, children and young people involved with the centre.

Zoe Hall, chair of Burnfoot Community Futures said: "We are delighted to welcome the Presiding Officer, parliamentary staff and MSPs to our hub here in Burnfoot.

"Like many communities in Scotland, we are experiencing challenging times and we look forward to focusing on how the Parliament can work alongside our community to achieve a fairer and wealthier future."

By visiting the Borders for the day the Presiding Officers aims to learn what communities think about the work of the Scottish Parliament and what Borderers want to see from the parliament.

Development officer at DTAS, Lynn Molleson, added: "At DTAS, we are proud to work shoulder-to-shoulder with our community anchor members throughout Scotland.

"In these times of poly-crisis (financial, climate and health-related) the work of our members has never been more needed and our network is growing.

"As we look back on 25 years of having a Scottish Parliament we can celebrate legislation that actively supports greater community empowerment and gives a route map for increased community ownership and community wealth building.

"We also welcome the opportunity to reflect on what communities need from their Parliament to best assure a fairer, more equitable future."

The Presiding Officer's visit to the Borders is one of eight cross-Scotland visits being made to celebrate 25 years of the Scottish Parliament.