Letters to the editor – May 15, 2020

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At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income.

In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

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A peaceful place


A big thank you to whoever has tidied up Ardrishaig Community Garden, mown the grass and repaired and painted the fences.

Such a peaceful place to call into while out exercising. I can’t wait for the day I can go back there to sit and contemplate, enjoy the views and read or paint.

Cheryl Ratcliffe-Nye, Ardrishaig.

Lifeline telecoms workers


I would like to thank all the telecommunications workers in Scotland, many of whom have been designated key workers, for how they’ve responded to the coronavirus outbreak.

They are providing essential support to the NHS and keeping all of us connected during this difficult time.

From the engineers going out to keep our broadband and mobile networks connected, to the vital contact centre staff helping customers when they need it most, they deserve recognition.

My colleagues, working with the Scottish Government and NHS, worked quickly to provide the temporary NHS Louisa Jordan hospital in Glasgow with communications. They are doing the same to support other temporary NHS services across Scotland.

Our people have worked around the clock with health boards across the country to offer new, technical solutions to help frontline health workers get on with their jobs during this crisis.

Our frontline staff in contact centres across Scotland – including Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Greenock – have risen to this unprecedented challenge. We’ve received a huge surge of customers asking for faster connections to help with home working, home schooling and running their businesses remotely.

These colleagues – most of whom can now work from home when they want to – have performed a critical role keeping our customers, including frontline health workers and vulnerable people, connected.

The people in our two 999 contact centres in Scotland are also playing a critical role, answering lifesaving emergency calls.

I couldn’t be more proud of how my colleagues have responded to these challenges and their desire to help us all through this crisis.

Jane Wood, BT Group director in Scotland, Edinburgh.

Coronavirus – a poem

COVID-19 is seriously not a joke

Globally kills thousands of folk

You start coughing, you can’t breathe

Without a respirator, this earth you’ll leave

Social distancing is now in place

Keep two metres apart, not face to face

Wash your hands frequently and well

72 hours on surfaces it can dwell

Shop infrequently, for essentials only

Don’t mix with others if you’re lonely

Keep in touch by text and phone

Don’t put yourself at risk, stay alone

It’s hoped soon this contagion will peak

Then we can return to normal, so to speak

Don’t travel to other towns by car

It can spread the virus near and far

Sports, socialising and most work on hold

The alternative could cause damage untold

Support the NHS, essential workers and neighbours

Then we’ll defeat this virus by all our labours

Dugald MacGilp, Lochgilphead.

Pioneering help in Argyll


We are looking for people who have the passion to bring communities together, believe in the power of co-operation and who hold the well-being of their community at the forefront of their mind.

The successful ‘Member Pioneers’ will receive full training and business support as they help groups and individuals during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. The pioneers will cover three wide areas: one based around Longrow in Campbeltown, another around The Avenue in Inveraray and a third around Bishopton Road, Lochgilphead.

The new positions form part of a drive to recruit 1,000 pioneers across the country. Existing pioneers are currently involved in a wide range of activities including co-ordinating food drives and offering personal support to those unable to leave their homes.

This has never been more important than now.

The local area has so many strengths and we want to help communities be as resilient as possible against the new challenges posed by COVID-19. The new pioneers will spearhead our efforts, support great causes and think up new ideas.

To apply to be a Member Pioneer, visit jobs.coop.co.uk/member-pioneers. Roles are 16 hours a month. Closing date for both positions is Wednesday May 20.

Russell Gill, head of co-operative and local engagement at Co-op.