Letters to the editor – December 24, 2021

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One school, one head teacher

Sir,

I attended the Tarbert and Skipness Community Council meeting in Tarbert on Thursday December 9.

Councillors Anne Horn and Alastair Redman were in attendance.

Alastair Redman initiated a debate regarding the Argyll and Bute collective leadership plan which seeks to reduce head teachers from 80 to 14 in Argyll as recently highlighted in the Argyllshire Advertiser.

It was a fascinating debate, having parent council representation from Tarbert Academy, as well as representation from local educators. It was a knowledgeable and thorough debate of the issues.

The consensus held at the end of this debate by Tarbert and Skipness Community Council is ‘one school, one head teacher’.

Only then can head teachers continue to know their pupils, staff and parents properly.

Leading, guiding, nurturing and caring for them, as they have always done.

Peter M Bates, deputy convener Tarbert and Skipness Community Council

No lives half lived

Sir,

On behalf of all of us at Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us this year. You have kept us going through what has been another really tough year.

We have continued to see an increase in demand for our services, and with shop closures and lack of fundraising events, the income that our charity depends on was being threatened.

But, faced with this chaos, we stayed strong and focused because our mission of No Life Half Lived was at the heart of every choice we made.

We have been determined to help people do more than just survive their condition and thanks to your unwavering support, we are helping them to really live.

This is what inspired us to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our NHS colleagues in the fight against Covid by continuing to develop our Hospital to Home service to provide wraparound care for people living with a chest or heart condition of the effects of stroke, keeping people safe and well in their own homes as they return home from hospital while helping to relieve the pressure on our NHS.

We entered a partnership with the Scottish Government to deliver care for people living with Long Covid. It’s what inspired us to support over 12,687 people through our care services.

With your help, we continued to spread kindness across Scotland. We have seen over 6,350 kindness volunteers deliver over 35,250 acts of kindness across your local communities, helping people who were isolated and alone through kindness phone calls, shopping trips, dog walks and online activity.

Thankfully, we have been able to welcome back some live fundraising events and we have been overwhelmed with people’s enthusiasm for running, cycling, walking over flames, and navigating muddy obstacle courses.

So, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to all our donors, supporters, volunteers and staff for your inspirational work during another disrupted and difficult year.

We are feeling optimistic for a better 2022 and I hope we will have your continued support.  Together we can and will make sure there is no life half lived in Scotland.

Jane-Claire Judson, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, Edinburgh

Make sure kittens are healthy

Sir,

With online pet sales on the increase, Cats Protection would like to warn of the potential risk of buying an ill or diseased kitten.

This year the charity has heard of many kittens that were taken from their mothers at too young an age and sold online for the sake of a quick profit.

Kittens should be at least eight weeks old so that they are fully weaned and developing normally from a health and behavioural perspective.

Unsuspecting buyers did not realise that they bought a potentially sick kitten until after purchase which meant they were sometimes left with high veterinary bills, or in some cases, a kitten which tragically died.

Action Fraud also reports that there has been a six-fold increase in instances of kitten and cat fraud (1,146 in 2020/21 compared to just 190 in 2019/20), underlining the need for buyers to be vigilant.

Please visit www.cats.org.uk/eight-weeks for advice on how to purchase a happy and healthy kitten or give a donation to help Cats Protection care for unwanted kittens.

Dr Maggie Roberts, director of veterinary services, Cats Protection

Sir,

After last year we all know how difficult Christmas can be when we’re separated from our loved ones, which is why so many of us will be looking forward to spending time together over this festive period.

For families with a seriously ill child in hospital I know they will be facing the reality of another Christmas apart from their loved ones.

Christmas looks different for families with a seriously ill child in hospital, but a donation to The Sick Children’s Trust will give them the only thing they want this year.

To be able to stay just minutes away from their child’s bedside so they can still make special Christmas memories.

Imagine having to sleep in your car in winter or travelling an average of 90 minutes to be with your seriously ill child. You can give parents a warm and comfortable place to stay in one of our 10 ‘Homes from Home’.

The Sick Children’s Trust has supported over 2,000 families in our ‘Homes from Home’ this year.

On average families will stay with us for 14 nights while their children are in hospital and with your support we can keep even more families together over the Christmas period.

By your readers supporting our 12 Days of Togetherness appeal you will make sure that all families can enjoy some quality time together this year.

Visit sickchildrenstrust.org for more information.

Jane Featherstone, chief executive, The Sick Children’s Trust