SOMETIMES it can be the little things that make a big difference to people’s lives.

Take the blue badge scheme. For those of you unfamiliar with the initiative, it allows people with disabilities to access disabled parking spaces whether it’s directly outside the shops, hospital or local leisure centre.

But not everyone who needs a blue badge is currently receiving one. Recently I was contacted by a worried parent, Mr McLevy, whose son Aiden has Down’s Syndrome. Due to the fact that Aiden can walk, he does not meet the new eligibility criteria for the scheme and has not had his blue badge renewed.

However, as Mr McLevy highlighted to me, while his son may be able to walk he has low muscle tone and sensory awareness. He is often unaware of the potential danger around him and can be unpredictable in car parks. Without a blue badge to access disabled parking spaces, it can be a real challenge for Aiden and his parents to do the things that we all take for granted such as going to the doctor, spending an afternoon in town or simply getting the groceries in.

If Aiden lived in Wales he would automatically qualify for a blue badge due to a recent change in law introduced by its devolved government. Here in Scotland, the government consulted last year on changing the law. There was overwhelming support for doing so but nothing has happened yet. This is why I have secured a debate in parliament taking place this Wednesday on the matter.

I hope that it will act as a catalyst to move us towards a change in legislation so that young people like Aiden, and his parents, get the improved support they need to go about their daily lives safely.