Arran Banner letters – week 31

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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,

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Cancer buddies


While many of us are beginning to cautiously return to a life that is almost normal after months of forced hibernation, many people with cancer are still trapped at home.

For those who were told to shield, the worry of contracting the virus at a time when they are already physically fragile means many are still frightened to go outside or see friends and family.

However staying home alone is also taking a toll on people. Research for Macmillan Cancer Support found many people with cancer have been feeling anxious, depressed and having panic attacks during lockdown.

That’s why Macmillan Cancer Support has set up a Telephone Buddies service that pairs up people with cancer who need someone to talk to, with someone else who has been through a similar cancer experience. The buddies and the person they are matched with then have weekly calls, chatting about everything from TV and music, to cancer treatment and side effects.

To find out more about using the service, or about becoming a buddy, visit or call 0808 808 0000.


Janice Malone,

Volunteering  and engagement manager,

Macmillan Cancer Support,



Heart consultation


We want to start a national conversation about heart disease – but we need help to make it happen.

At British Heart Foundation Scotland, we’re developing new recommendations we want the Scottish government take forward over the next five years to improve care for people in Scotland who are living with heart disease.

We’ve been listening to healthcare professionals and people living with heart disease to help us identify the key issues and work out a series of priorities and actions and now we’re opening a wider consultation to shape our final proposals.

If you are living with heart disease, or you are a clinician working in this area, we’d like to hear from you. Share your thoughts and ideas at or by contacting me at or on 07471 902521 before the consultation closes on September 4 2020. Have your say to help us develop an ambitious and innovative plan with patients at its heart.


Kylie Barclay,
Policy and public affairs manager,
British Heart Foundation Scotland.


Pioneering programme


Young people in Arran are being offered the chance to join a pioneering new service by Young Scot that will put Scotland’s young people at the heart of decision-making to influence policy and services that affect them.

Scotland’s national youth information and citizenship charity Young Scot is calling on young people across Arran to sign up for its #YSHive service which has been launched this week.

The service empowers young people to be system changers and influencers by sharing power with organisations and tackling society’s toughest challenges. This gives young people across Scotland the opportunity to have their voices heard and be involved in tackling some of society’s toughest challenges.

#YSHive provides their volunteers with the necessary skills, design models and tools to unlock culture and system change – ensuring young people are the forefront of change.

In the past, Young Scot’s projects have been behind some of the biggest policy changes surrounding young people including the Scottish Government Mental Health Strategy, The National Transport Strategy and BBC Scotland’s future output across TV, radio and online.

#YSHive is a ground-breaking movement that passes power to young people and enables them to become system changers and influencers as they explore new and innovative ways to work with organisations on the issues most important to them.


Louise Macdonald OBE,

Chief executive of Young Scot.


Note: can we pop this in a box, thanks

Alice Homes, aged 10, sent us this poem she compiled as part of her school work during lockdown.

Around Arran

Arran – A place full of creepy creatures crawling around.

Arran – Bouncy beach balls blowing around and adventurous paths waiting to be found.

Arran – A field with long, windy grass with hungry hares hidden around.

Arran – A nice warm bubbly bath, splashing all around.

Arran – A caremelised orange sunset skips slowly down around Kilbrannan Sound.