Letters to the Editor

editorial image


Blooming tea party

Marie Curie is here for people living with any terminal illness, and their families. We offer expert care, guidance and support to help people make the most of their time.

As a Marie Curie Nurse, I see first-hand how vital this hands-on care and emotional support is. This is why I’m asking people to host or attend a Blooming Great Tea Party between June 20 and 29. Last year across the UK the Blooming Great Tea Party for Marie Curie raised £667,000, which pays for 33,350 hours of vital nursing care.

With your support we can do more, for more of the people who need us.

You can sign up to host your Blooming Great Tea Party at www.mariecurie.org.uk/teatime. Please share your event details, photos or get involved on social media using #BloomingGreat. Thank you for your support.

Susan Buchanan

Marie Curie Nurse

Marie Curie Hospice,



Raising awareness

“When my M.E. was at its worst, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t go out. Even washing my hair was tiring.” This is what one woman living with the chronic, disabling condition Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) told us about her experience for May’s M.E. Awareness Month.

On top of symptoms including pain, cognitive difficulties and post-exertional malaise – the body’s inability to recover after expending even small amounts of energy – people with M.E. often face a lack of understanding about the condition from those around them. How does it feel to live with this every day? You can find out at www.actionforme.org.uk/get-the-facts

Sonya Chowdhury

Chief Executive

Action for M.E.


Stuggling with poverty

As a charity working to support people in financial hardship, we welcome the new report by Academics Stand Against Poverty as it keeps public attention on the real practical issue of poverty.

A huge 83% of low income households told us they’ve seen no sign of their finances improving in the last year, with many struggling to put food on the table for their families or ending up increasingly in debt. This is having a detrimental effect on their health and wellbeing.

Yet we also found that more than a third of those on low incomes have never checked what financial support could be available to them. We are working to raise awareness of this support and make it easy to access, and anyone in need can use the free tools on our website – www.turn2us.org.uk – to find out quickly and easily what help might be available.

Organisations like Turn2us exist to get practical help to those who most need it. We want people to know that that help is available and urge all like minded organisations to make this help as accessible and prominent as possible.

Simon Hopkins

Chief Executive



Tentative recovery

It is welcome news that the number of Scottish building companies going out of business fell by 20% in 2014, as shown by the latest figures from the UK Insolvency Service. This trend is further evidence of the tentative recovery being experienced in the industry at this time. But there are also growing signs of fragmentation within the industry. There are still significantly fewer medium-sized and large companies operating within the sector than prior to the recession. Conversely, we’re seeing a steady increase in the number of small construction businesses in Scotland.

Rebuilding the industry’s skills base remains a critical priority. These trends suggest we need to continue to support the smaller firms with the necessary investment to encourage the recruitment and training of apprentices. That way we can keep the industry’s recovery on a stable long-term path.

Vaughan Hart

Managing Director

Scottish Building Federation


Help sought for project

Researchers at Heriot-Watt University are looking to recruit people in the Midlothian area to take part in a Scotland-wide research project on the day-to-day experiences of people who work and qualify for working tax credits. Participation involves a friendly, informal and confidential interview, arranged at your convenience. If you are interested in taking part in the study contact James Richards at j.richards@hw.ac.uk

James Richards

Department of Business

Heriot-Watt University