News on how organisations are tackling the pandemic and coping under lockdown
Anti-pollution zones put on hold
Plans to fully implement Glasgow’s low-emission zone (LEZs) - the first in Scotland - have been put on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak. The first phase set emission standards which must be met by 20% of buses which pass through the city centre. The next phase will apply to all vehicles. Zones were also due to have been brought in later this year in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee but this has also been paused.mHowever Transport Secretary Michael Matheson has now said this is “no longer practicable”. He stressed the Scottish Government is fully committed to tackling the problem of air pollution, but he confirmed the implementation of LEZs has been paused. Environmental group Friends of the Earth Scotland said the Covid-19 crisis has “highlighted our urgent need to reduce pollution”. The group’s air pollution campaigner Gavin Thomson said: “Pollution from traffic causes and exacerbates many of the heart and lung conditions that put people at heightened risk from the virus. “The longstanding need to take action on air pollution to improve public health has only been heightened by this crisis.”
Poignant tribute for special girl
Inverness woman Joanne Sinclair (pictured above with sister) is organising a special lockdown pyjama party to help raise vital funds for the charity which provided care to her little sister, who sadly passed away in 2018. Dawn Sinclair suffered from cerebral palsy, epilepsy, scoliosis and developmental delay and died, aged just 15, on Boxing Day 2018. Throughout her young life, Dawn received care from CHAS at both Rachel House hospice in Kinross and also via the CHAS at home service. CHAS currently supports over 450 families across Scotland through their two hospices (Rachel House and Robin House) and also via their recently launched virtual hospice service. The charity is committed to making sure that no matter how little time families have together, they have precious memories at the homes. Joanne (27), who works in the Children’s Ward at Raigmore Hospital, said Dawn loved nothing more than “a wee jammie day” at Rachel House. The virtual event will take place on 12 May – a special date for Joanne and her family as it marks 15 years to the day that Dawn came to stay with them after being adopted, aged two.
Appreciation for volunteers
TSIs, Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action (DVVA), Voluntary Action Angus (VAA) and Perth and Kinross (PKVAS) thanked over 3,500 local people across Tayside who have offered their time, skills, energy and support to tackle the Covid19 pandemic. The local organisations have received an unprecedented number of expressions of interest and applications to volunteer across a range of partners. A statement said: “This is testimony to the commitment of our citizens of Perth and Kinross, Dundee and Angus to the values of kindness, compassion and community. As partners, we are working to share information and resources in order to match prospective volunteers to opportunities as quickly as possible, whether that be to roles within our own organisations which are serving some of the area’s most vulnerable people, or to community groups which are playing an integral role in ensuring people receive the help they need locally.”
Cancer Support Scotland launches next wellbeing session
Following the success of the first session, Cancer Support Scotland has announced the second in their series of Wellbeing Sessions. Session Two will see Cancer Support Scotland ambassador Laura Boyd put the public’s questions to the Scottish Government’s interim principal medical officer for psychiatry, Dr John Mitchell. The event will take place across Cancer Support Scotland social media channels during Mental Health Awareness Week on Thursday 21 May at 4:30pm. Anyone across Scotland affected by cancer can put their question forward. The Wellbeing Sessions launched on Monday 4 May with the first guest, professor Jason Leitch, exploring issues and answering questions those affected by cancer are experiencing right now. The first session had over 100 live views and has continued to be watched, you can find this session on Cancer Support Scotland’s YouTube Channel.
Air ambulance gets cash donation
Phoenix Group, Europe’s largest life and pensions consolidator, is donating £50,000 to charity partner Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) as part of a UK-wide package of community support in response to the virus. Phoenix, which has offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh, announced a one-year partnership with Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance in February 2019, which was due to end this Spring. Given the importance of the role that the service is providing in the face of the pandemic, Phoenix is now extending this to the end of 2020. Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance has been dedicated to remaining on the front-line throughout the current pandemic, providing critical care to the most seriously ill and injured patients in the country. The charity, which works alongside the Scottish Ambulance Service, operates two air ambulances which service one third of the UK’S land mass, tending and airlifting patients from Scotland’s most rural and remote locations.