Arran Banner letters – week 17

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Openreach praise


I wanted to let you know how wonderful the two Openreach guys have been to me over the last few weeks.  Ian and Scott must have visited me in Lochranza seven times over the last month.  All is well now. Without their continued effort I would have had to go over to the mainland to work.  Just wanted to say a big thank you.


Des Creasey,


Urgent changes


The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign is calling on the government to take urgent action to help WASPI women who have been badly affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 and are experiencing greater financial hardship as a result.

WASPI is calling on the government to make two urgent changes. The first is to give early access to Pension Credit for WASPI women who are otherwise eligible. This group, including some of the poorest WASPI women living in the UK, are currently falling through the gaps as their income is low, but they can’t access other support like Universal Credit.

The second is early access to the State Pension for WASPI women due to reach State Pension age this financial year. This would mean that the government would not have to support these women through other measures like furlough payments or benefits.

Announcing the new ask, WASPI`s Campaign Director Chrissie Lord said: ‘Every day, we hear heart-breaking stories from our members about how the current situation is affecting them. We’re increasingly concerned about the disproportionate impact the outbreak is having on 1950s born women. Like others, many WASPI women are seeing a significant impact on their livelihoods as a result of income uncertainty and difficulties accessing affordable food and other essentials. For women who were already in serious financial difficulty as a result of mismanagement of changes to the State Pension age, the impact is huge.

‘This all adds up to reports of poverty amongst WASPI women who were struggling to make ends meet before the pandemic. Those who are hardest hit have been unable to retire as planned and are now unable to work. We have always campaigned for fair transitional arrangements for all women affected by the WASPI issue and we will continue to work towards this aim. However, in these exceptional circumstances we have taken the decision to campaign urgently for vital support specifically for those who have been impacted the most severely.

‘WASPI women have fallen through the cracks too many times before. It is time for the government to act to ensure WASPI women who are struggling to make ends meet are protected and supported.’


Susan Bolland,

Cunninghame WASPI group.

Diabetic guide


Social distancing is challenging for everyone but for those who are also managing diabetes 24 hours a day, or caring for someone who is, keeping well can be even tougher. That’s why Diabetes UK has developed a new guide for people with diabetes who are staying at home.

We want to do all we can to support people at this time who might be feeling isolated and who can’t access their normal support. Routine and non-essential appointments may have been cancelled or postponed, so it is even more vital to carry out checks at home such as properly looking after your feet every day and keeping a close eye on blood sugar levels.

Our guide offers tips on everything from ways to keep active at home, eating well, looking after yourself and connecting with others.

To download your free guide visit

If you have any questions or concerns about managing the condition in this difficult time, please call the Diabetes Scotland helpline on 0141 212 8710, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm.

Remember, it’s important to get information on coronavirus (COVID-19) from reliable sources. Links to up-to-date government information and advice can be found at


Angela Mitchell,

National Director,

Diabetes Scotland.