AS THE year draws to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to your readers and our supporters for helping to make this, our 150th year, a huge success for Barnardo’s Scotland.

Many of your readers have taken part in a host of challenge events and raised funds through, sweat, tears and sheer determination. Others have supported events as volunteers, and without this army of support we simply wouldn’t be able to function.

By shopping and donating to our Barnardo’s Scotland stores in Alexandria, Clydebank, Kirkintilloch and Milngavie your readers have helped our local services, as the profits from retail go directly to support the charity’s work with some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged children and young people.

And finally thanks to you for supporting us by telling your readers about our events, news and campaigns and helping to raise awareness of the work we do throughout Dunbartonshire.

So a big thank you to you and your readers for helping us and we look forward to their continued support in 2017.

Martin Crewe,


Barnardo’s Scotland

MAY I take this opportunity to wish you and your readers a Merry Christmas and thank all of them who so generously supported Cancer Support Scotland during 2016.

Thanks to them we have been able to help more people than ever before and I would like to appeal to them to continue supporting us throughout next year.

In the last 12 months alone, there has been a 40 per cent rise in the number of people we have been able to assist and we now offer more than 5000 appointments each year for our free complementary therapies.

Demand for our services is rising month by month and for 2017 we aim to exceed half a million pounds in fundraising.

In response to the continually rising demand, we expanded our services in Glasgow and opened outreach centres in West Lothian and Livingston in partnership with other organisations.

A further outreach centre in Edinburgh will open in January.

All our services are provided free and we receive no government or lottery funding so we rely on the generosity of people like your readers.

I would like to encourage them to help us by volunteering or taking part in some of our fundraising events. For example, they could feel the exhilaration of our zipwire challenge and fly across the River Clyde or get fit by running in events like the women’s 10k in Glasgow, the men’s health 10k, the Edinburgh marathon or take part in less physically demanding projects such as our fun Heal Appeal.

We can help individuals and companies all the way from posters to fundraising packs. Just contact us and we will be delighted to support you. Please call 0141 337 8199 or go online to and turn your good intentions into reality.

Have a healthy New Year.

Colin Graham,

Chief Executive,

Cancer Support Scotland

AS WE welcome the New Year, I am writing to ask if your readers would like to volunteer with Leonard Cheshire.

Not only will you be gaining valuable new skills, you will also be supporting disabled people to make the most of their lives.

Whether you can spare a few hours a week or support us occasionally, your assistance is really valued.

You can help in many different ways, starting with driving those we support to essential appointments or to see their family or enjoy leisure activities including sport and entertainment. Your IT skills could be used to support communication on social media channels and if you have artistic or gardening talents they could also prove beneficial.

Why not come and join us as we celebrate our centenary in 2017 commemorating 100 years since Leonard Cheshire’s birth?

To find out more about how to become a volunteer with us, visit our website,, or email

Jan Balzanella,

Head of Volunteering,


NEW research from Independent Age, the older people’s charity, has found that over half of British adults (52 per cent) believe that abuse and neglect in care homes for the elderly is common.

Of those, many say their opinion is based on personal experience.

Our new report, “Shining a light on care: Helping people make better care home choices”, calls for new measures to understand the scale of the problem. We want the government to take responsibility for collecting core information about care homes to give earlier warnings of a home providing poor care.

We also want the Department of Health to commission a social care staff survey similar to the NHS staff survey asking if staff would recommend the provider they work for and whether they have witnessed neglect or abuse.

Our new report also recommends that the Competition and Markets Authority conducts a full market review of the care home sector.

We have two free advice guides currently available to download or order, which may help people affected by these issues.

Anyone who needs more information about how to choose a care home can order the How to find the right care home guide for free at or by calling 0800 319 6789.

Those who need more targeted guidance can call the free Independent Age helpline on 0800 319 6789 to arrange to speak to an expert adviser.

The free Independent Age advice line (0800 319 6789) can offer advice to those who think they are being abused or may be at risk of abuse so please do get in touch if you have any concerns.

Janet Morrison,

Chief Executive,

Independent Age