Arran Banner letters – week 31, 2021

Laura Penman plays the harp in front of Hamilton Terrace.

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Help transform lives


Shockingly, despite pancreatic cancer being the deadliest common cancer, half of all pancreatic cancer patients are not prescribed the inexpensive tablets they need to stop them starving.

As chief executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK, I am deeply concerned that so many patients  are missing out on this medication – called Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy (PERT) – which is just as vital for people with pancreatic cancer as insulin is for those with diabetes.

The main cause is a lack of awareness among health professionals, who do a wonderful job caring for people, but don’t specialise in the disease or treat pancreatic cancer patients as frequently as those with other more common types of cancer.

PERT enables patients to digest food, helping them to tolerate treatment and to manage debilitating symptoms from the cancer – including pain, diarrhoea and extreme weight loss.

A simple prescription could give so many people with incurable pancreatic cancer more – and better quality – time with their loved ones.

We need action across the NHS to raise awareness of PERT tablets and ensure everyone who needs them is prescribed them.

Nobody should have to watch someone they love waste away from pancreatic cancer.

Over 26,000 people have already joined our Transform Lives: Prescribe campaign, urging the NHS to implement targets to make sure PERT tablets are prescribed routinely.

Your readers can show their support for the campaign and help stop people with pancreatic cancer from starving at

Diana Jupp,
CEO of Pancreatic Cancer UK.


Stalwart of the ‘rural’


It is with great sadness we, at Lamlash SWI, note the passing of Mary Mackenzie, a long standing member, honorary member and also honorary vice-president of the Arran Federation SWI.

At various times over many years Mary has been both president and office bearer at institute and federation level.

Mary often said the ‘rural’ was very much part of her life.

There she demonstrated her many talents by the number of proficiency tests she took and passed at the highest grades enabling her to act as judge at many shows across Scotland.

She was always willing to share her skills with us as well as doing many acts of quiet kindness that passed unknown but were greatly appreciated by the recipients.

Her baking skills particularly were put to good use over many years’ fundraising for coffee mornings and baking stalls in support of the ‘rural’, local organisations and Lamlash church where she was a member of both the Women’s Guild and a church elder.

One of our member recently described Mary’s pancakes as ‘legendary’. I’m sure that would have caused her a quiet smile.

When we reconvene in the autumn, we will greatly miss her company and the vast contribution she has made to the institute over many years.

At this difficult time our sympathies are extended to all those who will miss her most.


From the committee and friends at Lamlash SWI.


Charity afternoon tea


Since the start of the pandemic, Breast Cancer Now has faced huge disruption. Their researchers lost thousands of precious hours in the labs and they’ve been forced to cancel hundreds of their community support events – taking away a crucial lifeline for many.

That’s why I’m joining the thousands of others across the UK and having an afternoon tea this August.

Whether it’s a cuppa in the garden or delivering delicious treats to friends, anyone can take part.

And no matter how you choose to have your afternoon tea, all money raised will help Breast Cancer Now provide world-class research and life-changing support for anyone affected by breast cancer.

So, if there was ever a time to pop the kettle on and get baking, that time is now. Fundraisers can register to claim a free fundraising pack at


Andrea Springthorpe,

Breast Cancer Now supporter.


Proms on Lamlash Green


On a warm Sunday evening last week, residents and visitors of Hamilton Terrace, Lamlash enjoyed an outdoor harp concert performed by Laura Penman.

A music student at Glasgow University, Laura and her family have rented the same front house on the terrace since Laura was born.

Playing the Scottish harp, Laura performed three pieces of Scottish music including Nathaniel Gow’s Lament for the Death of his Brother; Marga’s Moment by Brian Finnegan and the D Major Polka by Padraig O’Neill and Gillian Frame.

She ended the performance  with an encore of I Ne’er Shall Wean Her.

The delighted audience clapped hands for this enchanting evening and we all look forward to hearing this charming young musician next summer.


Sharon Shenhav,