IT was exactly one year ago today that The National team were driving up to Inverness, on St Andrew’s Day, to hold the first National Roadshow event.

Since then, we’ve been to nearly 30, spoken to thousands of our readers, and brought the stories that matter to them to a national audience. We believe it’s been an incredible success – hands down the best thing we’ve done since we launched back in 2014.

There are three major reasons why we believe it’s so important for us to get out and around Scotland.

First, we don’t have the resources to have a reporter in every town in our country. We’re based in Glasgow, but The National – the clue’s in the name – is a national newspaper that needs to be able to represent ALL of Scotland, not just the central belt. We’re the first people to condemn Westminster for its neglect of anything happening outside London and the south-east – so it’s critical that we don’t fall into the same trap.

Second, we wanted to meet our readers and find out what they think of what we’re doing. Many of you aren’t on social media, and we want to give you a chance to talk to us about what you like, and don’t like, about your daily newspaper. It gives you a chance to meet our team, ask them honest questions, and help us get across the fact that we’re not some corporate Newsquest cash-grab – we’re a small team of dedicated independence supporters just like you, the same as everyone else reading this today.

Third, we wanted to do our bit to make sure that local groups and party branches benefit from having a newspaper that supports them. We want to use our readership and the fact that we appear in thousands of homes across Scotland every morning to connect like-minded activists and bring people together at our events. We always encourage everyone who comes along to sign up to their local Yes group and get involved in the hard work of campaigning.

We think we’ve achieved what we set out to do!

But don’t believe us? Here’s Paul Kavanagh, aka Wee Ginger Dug, who more often than not accompanies us on our travels.

“It’s been an immense privilege to have been a speaker at many of the National Roadshow events,” he told us today.

“It’s taken us across the entire country from Orkney to the Borders and has proven that there is an enormous appetite for independence and so many talented and energetic people who are champing at the bit to get campaigning for a better Scotland.

“It’s remarkable that so many folk feel so passionately about a newspaper, but that only proves that The National is providing people who would otherwise not have a voice with a platform for their views.”

See you all in your area soon!