Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Harlaw Monday Group

Was delighted to accept an invite to visit the Harlaw Monday Group yesterday, who are based at the old Dean Park clinic, next to the primary school in Balerno. They support 8 older people who have Dementia or Cognitive Impairment from the local area. Providing lunch and social activities for a few hours each Monday this group gives some vulnerable people much needed social interaction and stimulation while at the same time giving carers a well deserved break which they can enjoy knowing that their loved ones are safe, secure, and going from what I witnessed, having great fun with each other. A very valuable and well run service and all delivered on a very modest Council grant which funds one member of staff with other support coming from volunteers. There are dozens of similar groups performing similar minor miracles throughout the city and they do a fantastic job.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Black Dog Campaign Launch

Angus looks out over Edinburgh
Was delighted to accept an invite today from national mental health charity SANE and Ryden Property Consultants to the launch in Edinburgh of SANE’s initiative to combat the stigma surrounding mental ill-health, and to encourage people to seek help. The Black Dog Campaign is a pioneering programme to raise awareness of depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health conditions.
Having confessed my ignorance to the origins it was explained to me that Winston Churchill suffered from depression and referred to it as his "Black Dog", hence the campaign which has been supported by many celebs including Stephen Fry and Joanna Lumley. There are currently 10 other Black Dogs in England but Angus, above, is the first to visit Scotland and can be seen at different locations around Edinburgh in the next few months. It was also a pleasure to meet Marjorie Wallace CBE, SANE’s Founder and Chief Executive and David Fraser partner at Ryden and his colleagues who have done a fantastic job of fundraising to make Angus's arrival a reality. I wish the campaign every success and hope we can do as much as possible to promote it.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Balerno Fairtrade Recognition

Donald Wilson at yesterday's event
Edinburgh's Lord Provost, Donald Wilson paid a very welcome visit to Balerno yesterday. After a wander round the monthly Farmers Market, in which he showed a great deal of interest, we dropped into Balerno church's Mill Cafe for a coffee and couple of photos then on to the main event, which was the presentation by the Lord Provost of the certificate from the Fairtrade Foundation confirming Balerno's newly acquired status as a Fairtrade Village. Its taken a long time and a great deal of work from the local Fairtrade groups in the community to achieve this recognition and congratulations are due to everyone involved. The local schools too are Fairtrade conscious with Dean Park Primary having also achieved success as a Fairtrade School as well as supporting the wider community project.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Super Ska Sunday

Had a brilliant time last Sunday at the Citrus Club in Grindlay Street. The first Sunday of each month Edinburgh Ska giants Big Fat Panda invite other Ska chums to support them in a tea time stomp (from 5pm, entry only £5) and last week was a bumper treat of 3 bands, Edinburgh's Sea Bass Kid, followed by Esperanza from Glasgow and rounded off by Andy and the boys. A fantastic 4 hour Ska-fest to satisfy the needs of Ska addicts anywhere. This weekend Big Fat Panda and Esperanza have made the long trek to Dorset to participate in the latest "Specialized" project which supports the Teenage Cancer Trust. Various Ska artists perform live and have also recorded a couple of albums of classic Ska cover versions. You can buy the downloads on the Specialized website on this link. A worthy cause and pretty good value for the equivalent of 2 or 3 cd's worth of music.